Sunbury, Bulla ‘betrayed’

Sunbury against Toxic Soil protest. (Joe Mastroianni). 233858_05

By Oliver Lees

A “tsunami of fury” has been directed at the state government following a decision by Transurban to send toxic soil from the West Gate Tunnel Project (WGTP) to Bulla.

Transurban and builder CPB-John Holland have signed a contract to commence building the facility required to receive and treat the soil at the Hi-Quality site on Sunbury Road., it was announced last Thursday.

Western Metropolitan Bernie MP said the decision was a “betrayal” of the people of Sunbury and Bulla.

“The tsunami of fury that the government is about to receive is something that they will never forget,” Mr Finn said.

“This is a disgrace. The fact of the matter is that the people of Sunbury and Bulla will fight this. What I am asking the Acting Premier to do this evening is to intervene to ensure that carcinogenic toxic soil from the West Gate Tunnel Project is not dumped in Sunbury Road.”

The Bulla site was one of three potential destinations for the three million tonne soil relocation project, the others being Maddingley Brown Coal in Bacchus Marsh and Cleanaway in Ravenhall.

The WGTP soil relocation project has been the focus of several legal proceedings, including a Supreme Court challenge by Hume council to review a decision made by Planning Minister Richard Wynne.

Hume mayor Joseph Haweil told Star Weekly he has never supported Hi-Quality as a location for the toxic soil.

“We’re very dismayed by this decision, we have opposed this project from day one,” Cr Haweil said.

“My understanding is that the legal process continues as planned, but we are still awaiting legal advice.”

Cr Haweil said council had received legal advice about applying for an injunction to prevent contracts being signed and was currently exploring legal options.

In May, hundreds of concerned residents gathered at the Village Green in Sunbury to voice their disapproval at the potential dumping of soil in Bulla.

Sunbury Against Toxic Soil Facebook group administrator Chris O’Neill said he had met with Hi-Quality on June 17 and was reassured that no contract agreement had been reached at that time.

“We are devastated as a community that we have been let down by our local member,” Mr

O’Neill said.

“He has not represented us and because of that we are going to be Australia’s largest toxic dump.”

Sunbury MP Josh Bull said he was disappointed by the decision.

“I remain very strong in my view that there are other more appropriate sites, closer to the project location that should have been selected,” Mr Bull said.

A Hi-Quality spokesperson said the facility would be built to address community concerns and preparatory works would begin in the coming months.

They stated construction work would go ahead, despite Hume council having initiated a judicial review.

The Supreme Court challenge will commence with a directions hearing scheduled for July 27.