Today’s revelations that Victoria is yet again in the grips of another toxic waste crisis are profoundly troubling, and the scale of it is epic, even by Labor’s standards.
The total cost of the cleanup of these toxic sites is estimated to be more than $230 million.
$27 million of taxpayers’ money has already been spent on cleaning up 13 sites, with another $76 million likely to be required for a full clean up.
A site at Kaniva, in the west of the state, contains an estimated 50 million litres of chemical waste and may cost an additional $125 million to clean up on its own.
There is speculation that a solution may be simply encasing the waste at the Kaniva site in a concrete shell and leaving the chemicals permanently on-site. That option must be ruled out by Daniel Andrews. The site must be cleaned up, and it must be cleaned up without delay.
WorkSafe has already spent $15 million and is expected to spend a further $41 million cleaning up sites they have responsibility for. That’s $56 million that was collected to promote and enforce workplace safety, not to clean up toxic waste dumps that should never have been allowed to build up in the first place.
These stockpiles could have, and still may, do enormous damage to the environment, and potentially place lives at risk. It’s no good having rules and regulations if you don’t enforce them. Labor has been in power for almost 16 of the last 20 years. This has happened on its watch. It has failed to enforce its own rules.
Daniel Andrews has failed to protect the environment and the community from the potentially deadly consequences of this illegal dumping.
Instead of continuing to pass the buck, Daniel Andrews must take immediate action to expedite the cleanup of these dangerous toxic dumps.
David Morris MP
Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change