Lyndhurst Waste Disposal Sites
The Lyndhurst tip commenced operating as a municipal landfill in October 1990 on a site that was previously a sand quarry. The site was then in a rural area with residents living nearby and market gardens and cattle grazing across the road. The area is also prone to flooding and somewhere under the tip or nearby is the Selwyn fault line.
In December 1990, the operators of the tip applied to take prescribed industrial waste (PIW). PIW includes both hazardous and non-hazardous wastes and the then Shire of Cranbourne council wanted to be sure that the PIW to be disposed of at the tip would not include hazardous wastes. The council included a condition in the planning permit prohibiting this waste. It was not commonly known that hazardous waste was prohibited from being disposed of at the tip and RATWISE did not become aware of this until late 2003.
In 1992, the tip was extended into the site next door creating an area of approximately 54 hectares for waste disposal. It was around this time that local residents became aware that hazardous waste was being disposed of at the tip. This was permitted under the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) licence.
RATWISE came into being in 1999 due to residents from areas surrounding the tip becoming concerned about potential health effects of hazardous waste being disposed of at the tip.
RATWISE campaigned to stop the disposal of hazardous waste at the tip and, upon learning that the planning permit for the tip prohibited hazardous waste, put pressure on the council, the City of Greater Dandenong, to enforce the permit. The City of Greater Dandenong became responsible for the Lyndhurst tip after the many councils in Victoria were required by the Victorian government to amalgamate into fewer councils. This occurred in 1994.
After more than a year of campaigning by RATWISE, the City of Greater Dandenong sought legal advice. Legal advice ultimately found that hazardous waste was being deposited at the Lyndhurst tip which was a breach of the planning permit. The Council was advised to take the matter to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). In July 2006, VCAT also found that hazardous waste was being deposited at the tip which was prohibited by the planning permit.
Before Council sought to enforce the planning permit, the operators of the Lyndhurst tip applied to VCAT to have the condition which prohibited the depositing of hazardous waste at the tip removed from the planning permit. VCAT removed the condition in February 2007 based on their view that the EPA is in the best position to regulate wastes through it licensing system and that a planning permit should not be doing the same. Not long after this, the Victorian government decided that the Lyndhurst tip would be the only landfill at which higher hazardous waste could be disposed of. The government also took control over the Lyndhurst tip, away from the local council and local people.
In late 2010, the operators of the Lyndhurst tip applied to the government to treat contaminated soils. They propose to establish a thermal desorption plant and a soil stabilising plant on top of filled and closed hazardous waste cells.
The operators also asked the government to change the zoning of the tip site. The treatment of contaminated soil is currently prohibited at the tip as it is not allowed under the current planning zone.
The government has yet to make a decision on the change in zoning and whether to allow the treatment of contaminated soil at the Lyndhurst tip.
Our petition against Toxic Waste was successfully tabled in the Victorian Parliament on the 15th October 2014 by Member of Parliament Mrs. Donna Bauer of Carrum.
In 2007, the City Council of Greater Dandenong resolved to adopt a comprehensive position in relation to the Lyndhurst Prescribed Waste facility. Indeed, the Council's position encompassed the entire Lyndhurst Landfill Site.
Since that time, numerous aspects of the Council position have materialised.
RATWISE pays tribute to their late Life Member, Stuart Marriner
We knew Stuart as a true gentleman who cared deeply for his family, friends and the community. Along with his dear wife Jean, their door was always open to listen, discuss and counsel anyone who was in need of help and advice.
He was very well read and interested in many aspects of life in the communities around him. This led to his involvement in working towards the best possible care for all.