Councils unite in soil fight

Tate Papworth

Brimbank and Melton councils are joining forces to prevent the movement of contaminated soil across Brimbank.

The soil from the West Gate Tunnel Project could be stored at the Ravenhall tip if it’s successful in the tender process.

According to the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority, about 1.5 million cubic metres of rock and soil would need to be removed a part of the tunnel project. Testing on the soil has revealed low level contamination of PFAS.

At a recent meeting, Brimbank councillors agreed to contribute $25,000 to a combined campaign with Melton council opposing the soil being transported to Ravenhall.

Cr Virginia Tachos said it was vital that everything was done to prevent the soil coming through Brimbank.

“Strong campaigns matter as they educate people,” Cr Tachos said.

“As we know, our community has borne the brunt of Victoria’s rubbish dumping, storage and legacy contamination of toxic-laden chemicals.

“This, if it goes ahead, will be another legacy contamination in the making for future generations, except PFAS doesn’t go away.”

Cr Tachos also tabled a notice of motion requesting the council write to the ministers for planning and energy, environment and climate change expressing concerns over the Hi-Quality site at Bulla.

Cr Tachos said a community consultation process was needed for communities potentially impacted by the transportation, processing and storage of Westgate Tunnel soil at the Bulla site.

She also sought assurance that residents of Keilor would not be impacted by the processing and storage of PFAS contaminated soils at the site.

“The transportation, processing and storage of this soil to the site in Bulla, may have impact for the residents in Brimbank and further expose the community to soil contaminants that the scientific understanding of the health implications are still developing,” Cr Tachos said.