Council rejects development application for Fawkner toxic site

residents oppose development of toxic site

At the Urban Planning Committee last night Council unanimously voted to reject the development application for the toxic site at 102 McBryde Street, Fawkner.

The site owner wanted to erect two 7 metre tall warehouses which would involve drilling 16 holes for the foundations through the clay cap that seals dangerous dioxin contaminated soil.

At a previous information session the environmental auditor that the company employed admitted that test drill holes found levels of contamination consistent with 1995 levels.

The developer also planned a 4 to 5 metre deep trench on the site and the gravel verge to connect the sewerage. The verge has never been tested or decontaminated.

Residents put the question to Councillors: would you be prepared to live near this site given the proposed development and what information is known about the levels of contamination and dangers of dioxins to human health? A number of Councillors said they could not answer those questions from residents.

The EPA Victoria, which is supposed to safeguard and protect the community, has been sadly lacking in doing comprehensive testing and reassuring residents of the safety of the site given the development. What testing has been done earlier this year has been outside the site of 102 McBryde street and limited to surface testing.

The Council decision cited lack of information on the current extent of the contamination below the clay cap at 102 McBryde street and for the verge outside the site. Without detailed information, the safety and security of residents and workers in the area cannot be assured, and their safety is paramount. There is a Primary School just 500 metres from the site and over 2500 school children within 1.5 kilometres of the site.

A representative for the owner / developer failed to attend to put their case.

The Developer has already registered an appeal in VCAT as Council delays in reaching a decision have exceeded application process decision limits.

Moreland Council will now join residents in opposing the development at a full day hearing at VCAT on 20 March 2018.

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