ADJOURNMENT – Clayton electorate: landfill sites – Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Posted on 14. Jul, 2011 in Speeches

Mr LIM (Clayton) — The matter I raise is for the attention of the Minister for Environment and Climate. It concerns the constant odours emanating from landfill sites in Clayton South, Clarinda and Dingley. The action I seek is that the minister direct the EPA (Environment Protection Authority) to revoke the licences of landfill site operators that have failed to comply with the Environment Protection Act 1970.
In October 2010 the EPA issued a penalty infringement notice to Transpacific Industries at Victory Road and a pollution abatement notice to a company named enviromix. In November 2010 Din San nursery was also issued with a penalty infringement notice. By January of this year odours were emanating from the landfill site 24 hours a days, 7 days a week. The sickening smell was travelling as far as Parkdale Beach in the south and Princes Highway in the north and could be smelt at the entrance to the Monash Medical Centre. This has become a major health issue, not just for my constituents in the Clayton electorate but also for residents in neighbouring areas.
In February of this year I wrote to the minister alerting him to the problem. On 24 February the EPA acted — sort of. It issued enviromix with both a penalty infringement notice and a pollution abatement notice. The Transpacific Industries sites at Fraser Road and Victory Road were issued with notices of contravention, and Din San nursery had its licence revoked.
Unfortunately the sickening odours continued. Since February there have been hundreds of complaints from residents via telephone, letter and fax directly to the EPA, and three community meetings have been held. Between April and June my office received over 140 EPA odour reporting sheets, which were faxed to the EPA for recording and action. The comments from residents on these odour reporting sheets are a sad indictment of a government that has been slow to acknowledge the right of residents to quality of life. Common complaint comments are ‘Made me sick’, ‘Gave me a headache’, ‘Hard to breathe’, ‘Cannot open windows or doors or turn my air conditioning on’ and ‘Cannot go outside to hang clothes, do gardening, sit or invite friends to my home’. The odours reported were described as chemical smells, rotten eggs, sulphurous, gas like, rubbish, rancid, putrid, foul, decaying, vomit, manure and sewage.
Last week the EPA finally issued pollution abatement notices to the Clayton South regional landfill and Transpacific Industries sites at Fraser Road and Deals Road, and it has been reported that the minister paid a visit to one of the operators, Transpacific Industries. In response Transpacific Industries has now offered a duplication of the new EPA 24 hour hotline. This is just a stalling tactic. These sickening odours continue. The evidence is clear. Now is the time to act. I entreat the minister to do his job. I also invite the minister to attend a public meeting on 20 July to experience the residents’ outrage firsthand.

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