Media Releases | 18th May, 2004

Calder Highway offers narrow buffer from toxic waste facility

Wednesday, 19 May 2004

Two of Victoria’s most significant national parks would have a toxic waste facility within a few kilometres of their boundaries, if a Bracks Government proposal goes ahead.

“The Calder Highway is a pretty small buffer between a national park and a storage facility for toxic waste,” said Environment Victoria’s Executive Director
Marcus Godinho.

“The Bracks Government must carry out a thorough assessment of all the environmental risks before it gives the green light to this location.

“Until we stop producing this waste we have to find somewhere to put it. The proposed location could be feasible, but the government must conduct a comprehensive environmental effects statement,” said Mr Godinho.

“The Government must get tougher on industry by clamping down on the amount of hazardous waste that is produced,” said EV’s Director of Sustainable Production and Consumption, Jenny Henty.

“There is plenty of scope to reduce this waste using technology available now, but the current cost of disposal is too low. The Government must impose green taxes and levies on waste generators and provide incentives to industry to dramatically cut toxic waste, ” said Ms Henty.

Nobody wants to live or work near a facility storing toxic waste, so after years of controversy Minister Batchelor today announced that toxic waste would be contained on public land.

“More bush has been cleared in Victoria than any other state,” said Mr Godinho.

“Today’s announcement that crown land would be cleared to make way for this facility sets a dangerous precedent.

“The Government must offset the land cleared for this site with more land protected under park status or replanting native vegetation on other land.”