Caroline Springs girl takes aim at dump’s bad smell

A four-year-old Caroline Springs girl has written to Melton council urging it to reject a proposal for a landfill extension near her home.

Ashlee Muscat’s handwritten note, which says she can’t play outside due to the smells already coming from Boral’s Ravenhall facility, will be presented to councillors before they vote on the extension.

The plan is expected to come before the council next month.

Boral’s application, which seeks to extend its operations by 179,000,000 cubic metres, would, if approved, create one of the biggest garbage dumps in Australia.

More than 1700 residents have officially objected to the proposal.

Almost 500 people attended a community meeting last month to voice their displeasure over years of foul odours.

Ashlee’s mother, Dianne, said she was overwhelmed with the response to the letter, which appeared on the website of community group Stop The Tip last week. “I hope it helps to get the message out,” Ms Muscat said. “She took such great interest in what was happening, especially as it was related directly to the unpleasant odours she has become too familiar with.”

Ms Muscat said her daughter became involved after she discovered the odours wafting across their suburb could get worse.

“My heart broke when she expressed so much concern over this, not knowing about the harm and potential heath problems we may be caused due to toxic components being dumped on our doorstep,” Ms Muscat said.

She called on the council to consider the future.

“I fell in love with Caroline Springs in 2001, the moment I began driving down the Boulevard,” she said. “Less than 10 years later, an odour began wafting through.”

Responding to community concerns, a Boral spokesman said the landfill did not accept asbestos, liquids, and toxic or hazardous waste. “We have no plans to change this,” he said.

Boral has previously said it was improving its gas extraction systems and had no immediate plans to increase the amount of waste it received.