Council’s decision on the August 17 meeting to close the Inverloch Transfer Station was based on an extremely biased report by officers determined to affect the closure.
Reference was made to the costs to upgrade the site to Best Practise Standards (Sustainability Victoria; Guide to Best Practise at Resource Recovery Centres, 2009).
Council has known of the Best Practise Guide since it was published in 2009. Council has ignored this guide for seven years, has ignored the guide and only refer to it now when it suits their purpose.
Furthermore, if they had followed The Best Practise Guide, they would not have rezoned the area Rural/Residential.
Why is it that the Transfer Station is not operating to the guide recommendations after seven years?
It should be noted that the guide is intended to promote Best Practise, it is not mandatory!
If council officers were aware of this surely a business case should have been prepared, by the officer responsible not a consultant, and included in the report that was prepared to close down the transfer station.
There was insufficient information to properly consider the recommendation.
Council were also responsible for rezoning the land to Rural Residential which “…has caused a number if unverified complaints regarding odours and green waste mulching” entirely due to, as the officer stated, “…the continued encroachment of residential development”.
Was this decision to rezone the land made behind closed doors because a decision had already been made to close the transfer station?
It was also mentioned that the site is located on top of a closed landfill “…which will be the subject to a future EPA Victoria Pollution Abatement Notice requiring capping of the landfill”.
This implies that council did not properly cap the landfill before starting the transfer station so recapping will be required in any case and has nothing to do with the argument to close the transfer station.
This would be the second time that council has botched the capping of landfill.
The old Rhyll Tip required recapping at considerable expense to meet the EPA requirements before being handed back.
It should also be noted that if the closure proceeds, then the Best Practise Guide referred to by council officers states in Section 5 Rehabilitation: “The future use of the site should be determined in consultation with the local community, planning authorities and other relevant stakeholders.”
This council has failed to properly address the shire’s waste problems and do not deserve to be re-elected in October.
John Swarbrick, Rhyll.