Transurban and its partners are building the $6.7 billion Westgate Tunnel Project and last year called for tenders to manage 1.5 million cubic tonnes of soil from the project. A tender bid has been shortlisted from the owners of a landfill and mine site at Maddingley on the southern outskirts of Bacchus Marsh township.
Under the shortlisted proposal, trucks carrying soil will travel to the site every six minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contaminated soil will be stored, categorised and disposed of at the site, in proximity to local schools and market gardens.
Moorabool Shire Council Mayor Cr David Edwards, said the 24 questions asked by Council were based around five key themes: Community Consultation; Soil Contamination; Net Community Benefit; Road Infrastructure; and the Environment.
“In line with our commitment to openness and transparency, Council is making the answers to these questions available for all to see,” Cr Edwards said. This follows Council’s earlier decision to make available all the letters it has sent to State Government Ministers on this matter.
In the responses, a request to provide Council with the nine technical assessments on environmental, socio-economic, amenity and traffic impacts was again turned down.
“Due to the competitive process currently underway, we are not able to provide commercially sensitive material contained in the technical assessments,” Transurban and its partners stated.
Cr Edwards said it was bizarre that Council, as the local planning authority, was being denied access to the documentation.
“Council has made it very clear that we are not interested in seeing any commercially sensitive material. We have even gone as far as offering to view redacted versions of these technical assessments where all commercially sensitive material has been blackened out,” he said.
“The fact remains that without these technical assessments, Council remains largely in the dark about the potential risks for the community, as well as the actual impacts to our roads, our environment and our reputation as a major food provider for Melbourne.”