Waste hub for wedge on horizon

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A WASTE transfer hub could be established in Kingston’s Green Wedge despite Kingston Council’s efforts to stop the area becoming “Melbourne’s waste hub”.

Councillors unanimously voted to ask the state’s planning minister, whoever that may be after Saturday’s election, to consider a formal council request to rezone green wedge land north of Kingston and Heatherton roads from Special Use Zone Schedule 2 to Green Wedge A Zone. This aims to prevent more waste and landfill businesses setting up operations there.

However, it has emerged that, during the public consultation process, state government agency Sustainability Victoria wrote to Kingston Council advising the Clayton-Dingley area has been identified as one of several possible locations for a waste hub for Melbourne due to its “access to transport networks”.

The Clayton Regional Landfill will close in 2016 after Kingston councillors decided not to issue a planning permit extension earlier this year. In 2008, a ministerial order allowed the Alex Fraser Group to conduct concrete crushing operations at a Kingston Rd site in Clarinda, against council’s wishes.

At Monday evening’s council meeting, Cr Paul Peulich said rezoning the area “will make it more difficult for concrete crushers to be established in our green wedge area”.

“We want to see better open space for future generations and a better environment for our children,” he said.

Cr Rosemary West welcomed councillors’ united front against concrete crushers, but worried delays “for over a year” to agree on the matter, left Kingston’s Green Wedge vulnerable to concrete crusher applications if the planning minister does not approve a planning scheme amendment before 1 June next year.

Cr Steve Staikos condemned council’s earlier failure to write to the minister after several of his notices of motion – to protect the area north of Kingston and Heatherton roads – were defeated earlier this year. However, he is pleased agreement has now been reached between councillors.

“I’m so happy that we’ve finally got to a place with this council where we can speak with one voice [on this issue],” he said.

New mayor, Cr Geoff Gledhill, said: “Broad agreement on this issue has existed within council for some time – the challenge has been to establish the best mechanism to ensure this outcome.

“This change will allow the land – some of which is used for landfill sites – to transit on to parks or more appropriate Green Wedge uses, which would reduce the negative impacts on surrounding residents caused by landfill sites.”

Sustainability Victoria’s submission to council, dated 27 October, stated: “SV understands that Kingston City Council is aware of the proposal for Transpacific Industries to expand its Frazer Rd facility to a state-of-the-art material recovery facility” and “subject to appropriate controls, this area is large enough to accommodate a suite of resource recovery facilities”.

Any move to expand Transpacific’s Clayton landfill site at Fraser Rd, also known as the Osborne Ave landfill, could set Kingston Council on a collision course with any incoming state planning minister over the matter.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News

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