Federal Member for Mallee Andrew Broad has applauded the Environmental Protection Authority’s action in beginning to remove Stawell’s toxic rubber stockpile.
Mr Broad said he had advocated for action at the hazardous site since he came into office.
“The site is an extreme health and environmental hazard, and has been for many years,” he said.
“I am pleased that the removal process has begun at the Stawell tyre stockpile, I want Stawell to be a vibrant community with employment opportunities, and I want it to be safe.
“I recently met with the Minister for the Environment and Energy The Honourable Josh Frydenberg and informed him of both mine and the general communities concerns about this stockpile and he was shocked to learn just how dangerous the situation is.”
The EPA used their powers under Section 62 of the Environmental Protection Act 1970 to initiate a clean-up of the site two weeks ago.
Up to 1000 tonnes of used tyres has been removed from the dump so far.
The tyres are being taken by the truckload to the Tyrecyle shredding facility in Somerton to be recycled into asphalt, tile adhesive and playground lining.
Between eight to ten truckloads of tyres have been leaving the site six days a week.
Mr Broad says while the exact number of tyres at the site is unknown the removal process will be lengthy, and he has called for the members of the Stawell community to avoid the site.
“Although the clean-up is under way there are numerous safety and health hazards still in place at the stockpile site and I urge the community to stay away and let the EPA remove the tyres safely,” he said.
“I know this has been a big issue for the Stawell community for a long time so I am very pleased to see the Stawell tyre stockpile in the safe hands of the EPA.”
The EPA used its legislated powers to seize control of the site after the owners failed to meet a deadline to act on fire hazard notifications.
The cleanup and removal efforts at Stawell Tyre Yard have been described by the EPA as a marathon rather than a sprint, with a rough estimate of 12 to 18 weeks of work at the site.
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