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It is going ahead and I'm sure the winning tenderers won't...

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    It is going ahead and I'm sure the winning tenderers won't repeat the mistakes made at the West Gate Tunnel project

    I thought this comment was very interesting:

    ''But a massive amount of work is needed to prepare the landfill sites to receive the project’s soil. Construction alone would take six months and cost $100-$150 million at each site.''


    Third council joins legal fight to stop West Gate Tunnel soil dumping

    A third council on Melbourne’s fringe has joined a Supreme Court fight against the Andrews government over its plans to dump 3 million tonnes of contaminated rock and soil from the troubled West Gate Tunnel project.
    The legal move comes as the opposition and community groups call on the government to stop any contracts being signed with landfill operators until the court cases are resolved.

    Maddingley Brown Coal landfill in Bacchus Marsh is one of the sites approved to take soil from the West Gate Tunnel.CREDIT:LUIS ASCUI
    Hume is the latest council to pursue Planning Minister Richard Wynne in the Supreme Court in a bid to protect residents from risks associated with dumping soil contaminated with potentially carcinogenic chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.
    The soil could be dumped at one or more of three landfill sites – Maddingley Brown Coal in Bacchus Marsh, Hi-Quality in Bulla and Cleanaway in Ravenhall.

    Tunnelling can begin on the new toll road only once the landfills receive approvals and undergo major expansions and upgrades to store and process the soil. Work on the tunnel was to have begun in September 2019 but now cannot feasibly begin until late 2023 at the earliest.
    Hume council voted unanimously to take the government to court after Melton and Moorabool councils launched legal proceedings against the minister in February.
    All three councils are requesting a judicial review of Mr Wynne’s decision to override them and change local planning rules to allow the PFAS dirt to be dumped at the sites. The councils argue Mr Wynne’s planning approvals are invalid because they are based on separate environmental approvals granted by the Environment Protection Authority, which have since been quashed.
    The EPA was forced to revoke its own approvals in December last year after admitting it made a legal error.

    Despite the legal cases under way, sources close to the project say builders John Holland and CPB Contractors are poised to sign contracts with landfill operators in coming weeks.
    Road toll giant Transurban has informed the Andrews government it expects a deal to be done with the landfill owners by the end of the month, a source close to the project confirmed.

    But a massive amount of work is needed to prepare the landfill sites to receive the project’s soil. Construction alone would take six months and cost $100-$150 million at each site.
    A separate source who is close to the project said no contract would be signed until a deal was reached on who would foot this bill.

    The West Gate Tunnel is estimated to face $3 billion in cost overruns and Transurban has told investors the project’s already delayed 2023 completion date will not be met due to the protracted soil crisis.

    Sunbury residents protest against plans to send contaminated soil to the Hi-Quality landfill in Bulla.CREDIT:NO TOXIC SOIL IN SUNBURY FACEBOOK PAGE
    Chris O’Neill, a spokesman for community group Sunbury Against Toxic Soil, which opposes plans to send contaminated soil to Hi-Quality, called on the government to ensure no contracts were signed with landfill operators until after the legal cases were complete.
    He said the group would write to Hume Council to request that an injunction be sought to stop any deal from going ahead.
    “We have been told to expect the contracts to be signed in the next six to eight weeks, regardless of these court cases,” Mr O’Neill said. “This would demonstrate a reckless disregard for the community.”
    Last edited by mogga: Tuesday, 21:38
 
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