Labor's Toxic Tunnel mess goes from bad to worse

In a major embarrassment to the Andrews Labor Government, its environmental regulator has been forced to revoke approvals issued to allow millions of tonnes of PFAS toxic soil to be dumped at the Maddingley coal site on the doorstep of Bacchus Marsh homes and school.


Labor and the EPA have been caught out trying to rush through dodgy permit applications without sufficient information or due diligence, with the EPA now admitting it did not have the power to issue approvals to Maddingley to receive toxic soil from Labor’s plagued West Gate Tunnel Project.


It's extraordinary that with millions of tonnes of toxic tunnel soil about to be dumped on rural communities in Bacchus Marsh, that we now discover that Labor and the EPA issued permits without relevant authority.


Labor sneakily rushed changes through Parliament earlier this year, avoiding community consultation, to allow the EPA to approve environmental plans to allow construction companies to dump PFAS soil and exempt them from any landfill levy charges, costing taxpayers millions of dollars.


Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Bridget Vallence:


"This was nothing more than a rush job, where Daniel Andrews and Labor have been caught out trying to rush through approvals to dump millions of tonnes of toxic soil on communities to save its disastrous Westgate Tunnel Project.


"Daniel Andrews and Labor have been caught out putting the interests of foreign-owned construction companies ahead of local environmental protections and the safety and wellbeing of the community.


"I'm calling for an independent investigation to find out how the Andrews Labor Government and the EPA could get this so wrong. How could the EPA issue a permit to dump millions of tonnes of toxic soil, when it has itself admitted it did not have the power to give the approval?


"Under Labor, the EPA has a hopeless track record on keeping Victorians safe and has now tried to rush through dodgy approvals to save Andrews' plagued West Gate Tunnel Project.


"The West Gate Tunnel Project is now billions over budget and is years behind schedule. Labor won't even come clean with Victorians how much this project will cost the taxpayer."


Comments attributable to the Shadow Minister for Transport Infrastructure, David Davis:


“The West Gate Tunnel has been botched by Andrews and Labor from the start.


“This is the latest in this tragic circus with local communities the losers.


“The EPA regulations were clearly flawed and the hasty approvals a case study in shambolic process driven through overt political interference by Labor ministers beholden to Transurban.


“Labor’s watered down environmental standards are unacceptable.”


Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Planning, Tim Smith:

“Daniel Andrews’ disgraceful plans to dump toxic soil in Bacchus Marsh must be scrapped.


“That’s why the Liberals and Nationals in the Upper House will tomorrow seek to revoke planning permission for this reckless decision.

“Labor must listen to the local community who have spoken loud and clear – they do not want toxic soil dumped near their backyards.”


Comments attributable to Member for Western Victoria, Bev McArthur:


“Labor has treated the people of Bacchus Marsh with nothing but disdain and utter disrespect through this whole process.


“Daniel Andrews must stop treating Bacchus Marsh as a dumping ground for his toxic soil.”

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