Landfill compensation claims

A no dumping sign on Denton Ave. (Luke Hemer) 205237_02

Tate Papworth

Compensation for residents impacted by the closed Sunshine Landfills could be on the horizon.

Last month, Star Weekly revealed a number properties could be impacted by the old landfills, with many sitting on buried waste and exposed to methane gas.

Several residents have told Star Weekly they had no knowledge of the situation when they purchased their property.

Slater and Gordon practice group leader Manisha Blencowe, last week briefed residents on the possibility of a class action.

The law firm is currently investigating possible claims for residents.

Ms Blencowe, who led the 2008 Cranbourne Landfill class action said two possible claims, negligence and nuisance, were being investigated.

She said there were a number of avenues for a negligence claim.

“There are a number of red flags in terms of events which have occurred over time which will be the basis of our investigation,” she said.

“Some of those events to date include the removal of references to the landfill site on the planning scheme in 1999.

“The consequence of that appears to be from that point onwards that the property they were purchasing was either on top of or next to a closed landfill site.”

Residents were told there may also be claims in nuisance if landfill gases are travelling from the council’s landfill sites into homes and works to reduce impacts of gas or to reduce risks are required.

Ms Blencowe said if it is discovered that their is a legitimate claim, the law firm would look to move forward with a class action.

It comes as the council calls on the state government to help it deal with an issue it says the government helped create.

She said determination on next moves and how to deal with the issue would require a taskforce as more information was uncovered.

“As we continue our discussions with impacted households we will gain further insights into the best ways to respond to this issue,” Cr Papafotiou said.

“For example chronic health issues have been raised by some households and we have requested the EPA investigate these concerns.

“We will continue to use the insights gathered from one on one meetings to seek further support from government.”