Shire must embrace waste reforms

Northern Grampians Shire Council has no option but to embrace State government amalgamations of Regional Waste Management Groups.

In passing a motion that recognised they were powerless to prevent the Minister for Environment and Climate Change implementing several significant changes councillors were frank in voicing their concerns.

The current 12 Regional Waste Management Groups will be consolidated into six Regional Waste and Resource Recovery Groups from August 1.

The Grampians Regional Waste Management Group (GRWMG), which Northern Grampians Shire Council is a member of, will become the Grampians Central West Waste and Resource Recovery Group taking in an area stretching from Bacchus Marsh to the South Australian border.

"Whether you like it or don't that is the way it is going to be," Mayor Cr Kevin Erwin said.

Cr Tony Driscoll said for the new reforms to work three ministerial departments, the minister for environment and climate change, the minister for planning and minister for local governance will need to align on the process.

"It is really critical in our advocacy we get our point across that we actually align the three departments because at the moment basically three ministerial departments are not talking to each other and it makes it very difficult for councils like ours to advance our rubbish reform we're trying to achieve," he said.

Cr Wayne Rice didn't hesitate in expressing his distain for the changes.

"This going to the point of so called 'rationalisation' that going to one super waste management group is going to make it better for everybody. I feel that we smaller unsustainable councils are going to be the losers on this one at the end of the day," he said.

Council will advocate and write to the Minister for Environment and Climate Change to resolve the issues associated with the planning permit for the Pomonal Road Landfill and seek financial assurance that any costs borne by council as a result of the reforms will be covered by the state.

It will advise the Grampians Regional Waste Management Group that council is not interested in holding the planning permit for the Pomonal Road Landfill.

The GRWMG currently holds the planning permit for the Pomonal Road landfill.

The Minister for Environment and Climate Change has directed the GRWMG board to work with NGSC to resolve any planning and contractual issues resulting from the cessation of the GRWMG on July 31.

There are a number of legal or financial implications that need to be resolved to remove the GRWMG as the permit holder.

If the issues aren't resolved by July 31 council may be required to transport municipal waste to an alternative landfill exposing council to increased transportation costs and unknown gate fees.

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