Brimbank,
24
March
2017
|
00:52
Australia/Melbourne

Council calls for more powers to handle waste and contamination issues effectively

Summary

Brimbank Mayor Cr John Hedditch is calling on the State Government to authorise more effective action against anyone who dumps, litters or contaminates land, particularly rogue operators

“The community and Council have made great progress in improving the presentation of the city and there's a lot of pride in Brimbank. We don't want this spoiled by rogue operators illegally dumping and contaminating land in ways that cost residents and ratepayers a small fortune to clean up and result in ongoing issues that affect future generations.

Council will Advocate to State Government

“Council is advocating strongly for the State Government to support Environment Protection Authority Victoria to strengthen the policies, legislation and compliance systems that relate to waste management, litter control and contaminated land.

“We want rogue operators who are deliberately breaking the law and currently frequent the sector brought to justice with penalties and sentences that fit the offense.

Requesting Better Resources

“We’re also requesting the State Government to grant better resources, more innovative compliance systems and stronger regulatory powers for local government and other relevant agencies that deal with these problems. This would enable us to take more effective action against dumpers and on contaminated land issues.

“Illegal dumping, litter and contaminated land are problems that we do not want in our city. Our residents and ratepayers are completely fed up with the outcomes of litter and waste dumping all across the city and have told us at recent community consultations that they want it fixed immediately.

Zero Tolerance Approach

“As I’ve said before, Council has zero tolerance for these problems and has been taking enforcement action against anyone who flouts the law. However these are complex problems and we feel like we’re fighting with one hand behind our back. Councils lack the full powers to address these problems as effectively as we need to, because we have a totally inadequate set of tools to do the job.

“Currently there are gaps and weaknesses in the Victorian policies and legislative framework that directs what action can be taken on waste, litter and contaminated land issues, and these are limiting our ability to act effectively.

“We want the EPA and councils to be granted more powers to crack down on dumping and contamination, and we want harsher financial penalties and sentences for these illegal behaviours.

Waste Management to be Reviewed

“We will review Brimbank’s waste management, litter control and contaminated land management systems, and how we deal with these issues. We’re going to be working to create a contemporary, integrated action plan that will result in a cleaner, sustainable environment for our City.

“We’re appealing to the State Government to dedicate funds from the hundreds of millions of dollars in the Sustainability Fund towards developing this integrated action plan for waste management, litter control and contaminated land management, including prioritising the clean up of major dumping sites in the city.

Funds Raised by Community Should be used for the Community

“It is only fair that these sustainability funds, which are raised by local government contributions to the State Government landfill levy should be returned to local government to better resource action on these widespread problems.

“Brimbank Council wants to see a waste management sector full of business operators that are pro-environment and good corporate citizens and not a sector increasingly controlled by organised crime and rogue elements.

“We look forward to the State Government taking strong and timely action on this matter. We are very committed to cleaning up Brimbank, and will continue to advocate for the help we need from higher levels of government to make this possible,” Cr Hedditch said.