Planning Minister Richard Wynne is being asked when Bacchus Marsh residents will be told if he has approved changes to the Moorabool Planning Scheme to allow contaminated soil to be housed close to homes, schools and market gardens.
Moorabool Shire Council has been asking for a detailed timeframe for several weeks.
“Not knowing when a decision of this magnitude will be made is causing a great deal of uncertainty and angst for local residents and adds to a general feeling that we’re being kept in the dark,” Mayor Cr David Edwards said.
“We’ve just recently discovered that the Governor-in-Council has signed off on a process to enable the storage soil from the West Gate Tunnel Project. Where’s the transparency? When were impacted Victorians consulted on this?
“This is all particularly frustrating as the same community is being asked to cop 85m high transmission lines and the possibility of big job losses due to a health merger.”
In an attempt to understand the impacts of the proposal, Council commissioned an independent economic impact assessment of the cost to the residents and businesses of Bacchus Marsh should MBC be the preferred dumping site. This document has indicated the cost could potentially be in the region of $100,000,000. Traditionally such an assessment would have been carried out by the applicant but as the project group were not forthcoming, this was a step Council had to take to ensure due process was adhered to.
“The West Gate Tunnel spoil issue has been dogging our community since November last year and throughout our community has been starved of information,” Cr Edwards said.
“I’m not asking the Minister to fast-track a decision, as he certainly needs plenty of time to properly consider what he’s being asked to approve. But I do think that a process update, and timeframe would help to reduce community angst.”