Friday 30 October 2020

Labor and crossbenchers gang up to greenlight toxic soil dumping

In the Upper House of the Victorian Parliament today, Labor along with five crossbenchers, have voted to allow toxic soil to be dumped in both Bacchus Marsh and Bulla.

 

The Liberal Nationals attempted to ensure this dumping of toxic soil followed proper safety and sustainability processes but Daniel Andrews and his Labor and crossbench mates arrogantly voted for it to proceed.  Crossbenchers Andy Meddick, Fiona Patten, David Limbrick, Tim Quilty and Clifford Hayes voted with Labor while the Greens’ Samantha Ratnam clearly did not believe the issue warranted her attention as she did not even attend Parliament today.

 

In July this year, the Andrews Labor Government sneakily introduced new regulations to allow foreign-owned construction companies to dump millions of tonnes of toxic PFAS soil on the doorsteps of Victorian communities for free.

 

The Andrews Labor Government rushed through these toxic regulations in secret after contractors at the Labor Government’s disaster plagued West Gate Tunnel Project, threatened to walk off the job because it had nowhere to dump its toxic PFAS soil.

 

The Labor Government has bypassed community consultation on these toxic laws, which:

 

  • Drastically reduce environmental protections, scrapping the need for a licence to hold toxic soil;

  • Reduce buffer zones between toxic soil dumping sites and schools and homes, risking the health and wellbeing of thousands of people in Bacchus Marsh and Bulla; and

  • Remove appeal rights for communities to challenge the government on new toxic dumping sites.

 

Furthermore, in a massive kick in the guts to every Victorian doing it tough after Labor’s disastrous mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Andrews Government has exempted contractors from paying hundreds of millions of dollars in landfill levies to dispose of toxic tunnel soil. This means foreign-owned tunnel contractors will not pay a cent, leaving it to every Victorian taxpayer to pick up the tab on cleaning up Labor’s toxic environmental mess.

 

The communities of Bacchus Marsh and Bulla are vehemently opposed to becoming the toxic dumping ground of Victoria but their pleas have fallen on Labor’s deaf ears.

 

Local Labor MPs, Michaela Settle, Josh Bull and Steve McGhie have all sold out their local communities by allowing their electorates to become toxic dumping grounds.

 

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Bridget Vallence:

                                                                                                                      

“It’s incredibly disappointing that Upper House MPs have voted against scrapping Labor’s toxic soil dumping laws”.

 

“Daniel Andrews and Labor don’t care about people or the environment, and sneakily changed the laws to allow the dumping of toxic soil near homes and schools.

 

“The Liberal Nationals fought to disallow and dump Labor’s toxic soil laws in Parliament to protect the health and wellbeing of people and our environment.

 

“It’s outrageous that Labor is giving foreign-owned West Gate Tunnel contractors a tax-free ride to dump toxic soil, and instead will slug Victorian taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up this toxic soil mess. It’s a massive kick in the guts to every Victorian doing it tough.”

 

Comments attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure, David Davis:

 

“Labor and their crossbench mates from the Animal Justice Party, the Reason Party, the Liberal Democrats, the Sustainable Australia Party and the Greens have sold-out; now toxic soil will be dumped against the clear will of the community.

 

“Daniel Andrews and his Labor MPs have treated the community with absolute contempt through this toxic soil saga.

 

“The crossbench MPs who sold out the Bacchus Marsh and Bulla communities should be ashamed of themselves.”