Work to clean up a dangerous stockpile of half a million tyres at Numurkah is close to complete, after the Andrews Labor Government stepped in to make the site safe for the local community.
The work began in December 2018 and up to eight trucks a day have taken loads of tyres for shredding and recycling at an Environment Protection Authority Victoria licensed facility in Melbourne.
Shredded tyres can be used throughout the construction, manufacturing and automotive industries and can be recycled into athletics tracks, brake pads, new tyres or road surfaces.
The EPA used its powers under the Environment Protection Act 1970 to enter the site and remove the stockpile, after other legal options had been exhausted.
The Labor Government provided funding to meet the cost, and Moira Shire Council assisted EPA by project managing the clean-up operation.
The pile was a fire risk because burning tyres break down into hazardous compounds including gases, heavy metals and oil, generating a great deal of smoke.
The Numurkah tyre stockpile was within metres of homes and businesses and in June 2018, the CFA assessed the potential consequences of a fire at the premises as ‘catastrophic’ and the likelihood of a fire at the premises to be ‘likely’, resulting in an overall risk rating of ‘extreme’.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“We have delivered on our promise to remove this environmental hazard to protect the community and local businesses.”
“Preventing this sort of risk is why we gave the EPA stronger powers and record investment – we need a strong EPA to keep the community safe.”
Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp
“The stockpile was an unacceptable risk to the community – we stepped in to make sure that rogue operates didn’t endanger the local community.”