Tip parties walk from talks: discussions fail as groups scrap over cap

25 Nov, 2008 09:56 AM

TALKS between the owners of Tullamarine tip, the community and the Environment Protection Authority have broken down, with TPI Cleanaway and the EPA both boycotting meetings.

EPA executive director regional services, Bruce Dawson, said before last week’s meeting that the authority would not attend meetings until a new independent facilitator was appointed.

On the eve of Tuesday’s meeting, community members of the Tullamarine Rehabilitation Advisory Committee led a protest on the steps of the EPA’s head office in Southbank.

Committee member Harry van Moorst said the facilitator resigned in September because she felt she did not have the committee’s full confidence.

“There was no motion of lack of confidence, but one or two people on the committee said they would prefer to have a facilitator who had more knowledge of the subject.”

Mr van Moorst said that information had been requested of the EPA, but it had not been provided and it had been her task to follow this up.

“If the EPA had provided that information, it wouldn’t have come to that.”

Community members believe the type of cap stipulated by the EPA in 2001 is now “third rate” and much higher standards are expected.

Mr Dawson said last week its website was being updated, and defended the cap. “EPA is confident that the cap design is in line with best practice.

“Past practices have resulted in a legacy issue at the site that [TPI] need to deal with. EPA requires that leachate be removed from the site and treated prior to disposal. The EPA also requires the extensive monitoring of groundwater both inside and beyond the landfill.”

TPI did not return calls by press time.

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Article by Jane Canaway

British-born, schooled in Holland and Wales, I worked my journalism cadetship in the Home Counties, escaped to London, then spent a couple of years travelling before settling in Melbourne, where I have written and edited for a range of publications, including Pacific Magazines [Your Garden, Home Beautiful, New Idea] and Fairfax Community Newspapers. Now a mother of two wonderful teenagers, I write about gardening, sustainability and people, when I can drag myself away from the vegie patch and my saxophone.
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