VEOLIA has abandoned its plans to turn an exhausted quarry at Leongatha South into a landfill site for Melbourne’s rubbish.
The multi-national company shocked the region almost two years ago when it announced the Whitelaws Track site as its preferred destination for 20 compacted A-double truckloads of household waste each day.
But the release of both the Gippsland Regional Waste Management Plan and the Metropolitan Waste Management Plan showed a lack of need for any further landfill sites.
Dump the Dump was the local organisation formed to lead the campaign against the plans.
Wendy Reed, representing the group, thanked local businesses and the community who supported the signing of the petitions, with thousands of signatures delivered to parliament by Gippsland South MP Danny O’Brien and Eastern Victoria MP Melina Bath.
“I must thank the DTD committee members who contributed their time and hard work to create this fantastic outcome, and also Danny and Melina.”
Mr O’Brien and Ms Bath visited the site on Wednesday last week.
“This was a project that was sprung on the community by Veolia and presented as something of a done deal,” Mr O’Brien said.
“What the company didn’t anticipate was the fantastic community campaign that mobilised almost instantly to oppose the dump.
“I was pleased to table in State Parliament almost 3000 petitions against the proposal and the community campaign made it clear that South Gippsland did not want Melbourne’s waste.”
Ms Bath said, as a local resident, she was equally concerned about what the dump would have meant.
“I give great credit to the Dump the Dump group which pounded the pavement, collected signatures and prepared a significant campaign against the dump idea.
“I also pay tribute to the businesses that hosted the petitions and leant their support to the campaign.”
Mr O’Brien said neither the Gippsland nor metropolitan waste planning groups had accepted the need for the dump at Leongatha South, denting any credibility it had to proceed.
“We know we have to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and Gippsland will accept the responsibility for dealing with its own waste – Melbourne should too.
“I am disappointed that having raised community anxiety about this issue, that it took follow up from us to confirm it was now dead. That is disrespectful to the community and Veolia’s behaviour in this case has been poor.”