The first truckloads of construction and demolition waste will be removed from the huge waste stockpile at Broderick Road in Lara this week – helping to protect the local community and environment.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said the Andrews Labor Government had stepped in to take over management of the stockpile and begin the enormous clean-up effort, which is expected to cost more than $30 million.
Poor site management practices by the previous operator let the recycling waste grow to dangerous levels, resulting in an unacceptable fire risk to the local community, the environment and emergency services.
The site contains an estimated 320,000m3 of mostly construction and demolition waste, including materials such as timber, concrete, bricks, plaster, glass and ceramics.
The first stage will be the processing and removal of a 27,000 cubic metre stockpile of timber, weighing an estimated 3,500 tonnes, starting on Monday 16 September.
The Labor Government has provided funding of $30 million to maintain fire prevention measures and clean up the site – a job that could take several years.
The City of Greater Geelong will project manage the works on behalf of EPA and Government – including managing the interim fire risk measures at the site with maintaining 24/7 security, secure fencing and maintenance of firefighting equipment.
EPA will rigorously pursue the previous site occupiers, owners, company directors and any other relevant parties to recover the costs of the fire prevention measures and clean up.
Since August 2017, EPA has had additional powers to support Victoria’s fire services and issue remedial notices to facilities not properly managing potential fire risks. These powers will be strengthened further under the new Environment Protection Act which will come into effect on 1 July 2020, to prevent situations like this in the future.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“We’re cleaning up this waste stockpile to help protect the Lara community and put this rubbish where it belongs.”
“There is absolutely no excuse for the reckless behaviour of the people who left this mess for us to deal with and we will have no hesitation pursuing them to cover the cost of the clean-up.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Lara John Eren
“This site has been an eyesore and a concern for the local community for far too long – I know the residents of Lara will be thrilled to see this dangerous waste gone for good.”
“This is just the start of a mammoth clean-up effort and we’ll keep working at it until every last piece is disposed of once and for all.”