Parliament The Nationals Leongatha Environment

O’Brien collects 1000 strong landfill petition

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien today took delivery of a petition signed by more than 1,000 worried locals who are opposed to a proposed landfill at Leongatha South.

Mr O’Brien said if approved, the facility, to be operated by Veolia, would be filled with waste from metropolitan Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula.

“As Gippslanders we understand the need for waste facilities, and we accept the need to deal with our own waste, however I have concerns as to why Gippsland should become Melbourne's dumping ground,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This is an issue that is causing a great amount of angst for the community. This petition has only been circulating for a month or so and has already been signed by more than 1,000 locals concerned about the effect this dump will have on the local environment and roads. I'm told there's already a further 600 signatures on additional petitions with more to come.

"Well done to the Dump The Dump group for coordinating the petitions and opposition to this proposal."

Mr O’Brien spoke in Parliament this week on the proposed landfill, questioning Minister for Environment Lisa Neville on whether rubbish from Melbourne dumped in Leongatha would attract a lower landfill levy as opposed to if it was dumped in Melbourne.

Mr O’Brien said landfill levies were paid on all rubbish disposed at licensed landfills and provided an incentive to minimise waste and develop alternatives to dumping rubbish in landfill.

“Rubbish in Melbourne attracts a landfill levy of about $60 per tonne, but for South Gippsland shire it is about $30 per tonne,” Mr O’Brien said.

“If a levy of just $30 is paid on the rubbish trucked into South Gippsland, it will result in losses to the state of nearly $6 million per annum, or at least $90 million over the life of the project.

“The Environment Minister needs to explain whether this perverse incentive to dumping Melbourne’s rubbish in the beautiful farming country of South Gippsland will be allowed.  If so it will be at the cost to South Gippsland, Victorian taxpayers, and the environment which benefits from the proceeds of landfill levies."

Mr O’Brien will table the petition in the Legislative Assembly during the next sitting week.

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