The water-filled former quarry, 500 metres from Arthurs Seat State Park, has been proposed as a 20-year solution to the shire’s rubbish disposal needs.
But as the $12-million proposal awaits approval from the Victorian Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the council, the Peninsula Preservation Group has launched a co-ordinated attack against the move.
Vince Latham, CEO of Peninsula Waste Management (PMW) which manages the site, told Quarry that the EPA is holding a community meeting this Wednesday, 12 June. A permit has not been issued to date, with Latham saying it has a ?long way to go?..
He also added that PWM is unsure if the matter will go to VCAT but he expects it is likely.
The former Pioneer Quarries site is the only suitable site on the eastern side of Melbourne that meets stringent EPA guidelines for siting a landfill. About 10,000 people have signed petitions opposing the tip.
Andrew Duncan owns ?Nangara?, a cattle property neighbouring the proposed tip, and is worried about leachate leaking from the tip into the water table and making its way into Sheepwash Creek.
Residents also fear the rubbish could threaten native species by attracting vermin and scavengers, increase bushfire risk in the area and ward off tourists.
However, the geographic features of the site make it ideal for landfill as the pit is deep and narrow, making it easy to control dust and odours and keep seagulls and other animals away. The topography also means the landfill cannot be seen from roads or nearby homes.
Other suburbs? rubbish
Peninsula Preservation Group vice president Mark Fancett said they were also angry about plans to fill the quarry with rubbish collected from outside the shire. If the plan by PWM is approved, the site will not only take over as replacement for the Rye tip in 2015 but could also take waste and asbestos from other Melbourne suburbs.
According to the proposal sent to the EPA, the site would take half of its 120 tonnes of rubbish every year from other areas of Victoria.
The council’s sustainable environment director Stephen Chapple said Mornington Peninsula Shire was not currently considering any alternative site for a future tip ?but we will do so in the future if alternative sites that meet all the necessary guidelines are identified?.
The former quarry has been recognised as a preferred landfill location under the council’s regional waste management plan as it will provide a solid non-hazardous waste disposal service for local households and businesses over the next 20 years.
A shortfall in waste reduction and an expanding population means that a long term landfill site is still required on the Peninsula to manage waste that cannot be reused or recycled.
Sources: The Age, Peninsula Waste Management