Monday, June 24, 2024

Council to take legal action over tunnel project dumping site

Victoria’s Hume City Council says it will take legal action against the decision to approve an amendment to the Hume Planning Scheme which would facilitate the use of the HiQuality site in Bulla to store contaminated spoil from the West Gate Tunnel Project. 

Council made a unanimous decision to initiate judicial review proceedings to examine the decision by the Minister for Planning. 

Hume Mayor Joseph Haweil said there had been no process for Council or officers to provide input into this decision or to further advance Council’s objection to the proposal since submitting a response to the proposed amendment in September 2020.  

“The decision to take this to the Supreme Court was not made lightly. The costs are significant, however my fellow Councillors and I believe this is the right thing to do and the action our community expects,” Mayor Haweil said.  

“How the Victorian Government felt it appropriate to avoid the usual process and approve this amendment without public consultation and independent review is beyond belief.” 

“We could not have been clearer in our response that the Minister for Planning should not approve this amendment, particularly without a transparent process involving community consultation and independent review.” 

This site in Bulla is in close proximity to where the Victorian Government recently approved residential development in Sunbury South, and concerningly backs onto Emu Creek.  

“We can’t understand why the Victorian Government would want to dump spoil in a growing residential area,” Mayor Haweil said.  

Council will also write to Minister for Planning, the Minister for Transport Infrastructure and the Head of Transport for Victoria outlining Council’s objection regarding the major impact this could have on our roads that are already under strain.  

“We hold great concerns about allowing hundreds of extra trucks crossing the narrow, dangerous and heritage bridge at Bulla.” 

“We also object strongly to this proposal causing any delay to the much-needed Gap Road Level Crossing Removal Project or Sunbury Road Upgrade Project.”

“Hume City Council cannot be clearer; we do not support the spoil coming to Bulla and will continue to stand by our community and support concerns for their health, the environment and the impact the traffic congestion this facility will create,” th e Mayor said.

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