Closed Sunshine Landfills need a collaborative approach

Brimbank Mayor Cr Georgina Papafotiou has repeated the call for a collaborative approach between the State Government and Council in responding to legacy land contamination issues across the west and in particular the closed Sunshine landfills.

Mayor Papafotiou said, ‘Council remains absolutely committed to making sure affected households are not unfairly burdened by the closed Sunshine Landfills.

Local Government, the Victorian Government and Boral Resources (as the previous landowner) all played a role in permitting, licensing and operating the closed Sunshine Landfills.

This includes the following sale and development of parts of the landfills for residential and industrial purposes.

‘The best way forward is a whole-of-government resolution for the affected community and this begins with the establishment of a Melbourne’s West Land Contamination Task Force.

‘The State Government’s comprehensive response to the dangerous combustible cladding issue, provides the precedent for responding to historic land contamination issues across the west, beginning with Sunshine Landfills,’ Cr Papafotiou said.

To date, Council has requested the Victorian Government consider a range of options to develop a shared and joint response to the closed Sunshine Landfills.  These options include:

  • Support for the Transforming Brimbank 2020 Environmental Equity Agenda
  • Establishing a multi-agency working group of Council and relevant government representatives.
  • Collaborating to improve the collective understanding of the broad and complex issues, including open information sharing.
  • Considering potential opportunities through the Sunshine Priority Precinct
  • A financial contribution to resolve any potential private property owner issues.

Mayor Papafotiou said, ‘this is a complex issue and our first priority is continuing to meet with those affected to share information about their individual properties and to speak with them about their concerns and needs.

‘As we continue our discussions with impacted households we will gain further insights into the best ways to respond to this issue.

‘For example chronic health issues have been raised by some households and we have requested the EPA investigate these concerns.

‘We will continue to use the insights gathered from one on one meetings to seek further support from government.

‘We have been heartened by the Victorian Government’s announcement that the impacted households will not be impacted by new environmental regulations.

‘Council is also continuing with plans to prepare and exhibit an Environmental Audit Overlay.

‘Responding to legacy issues and current concerns of impacted households will take time. 

 ‘Council is here to listen, to advocate to government and work together with those impacted to find a way forward,’ Mayor Papafotiou said.