A war of words has erupted over allegations soil from the Westgate Tunnel Project will arrive in Bacchus Marsh from Monday (June 15).
Whistleblowers who had spoken to the Bacchus Marsh Says No to Toxic Waste group made the claims Friday morning, prompting an emergency meeting, but a spokesperson for Maddingley Brown Coal – the owners of the landfill – said the claims were false.
“Reports that MBC is receiving westgate tunnel sPoil from monday are false. Mbc has applied for planning and environmental approvals to build a facility to receive project sPoil, and will only receive it after the relevant approvals have been granted and a contract is signed.“
The protest group is upset that soil possibly containing an unknown amount of PFAS could end up flowing down the Parwan Creek and into the Werribee River, close to where Melbourne’s fresh produce is grown.
Protestors allege MBC has been digging at the site for weeks in preparation to receive 500 tonnes of already-excavated toxic soil.
Spokesperson Kat Barlow said the group was told money to transport the waste was arranged on Friday morning and the trucks would start rolling in Monday.
“We have been lied to. We have been tricked. We have been left in the dark,” she said.
“It has not mattered what we have said as a community.”
Ms Barlow said local MPs had told the group no decision had been made on where to take the soil and no permits had been issued.
“That’s what we have been told endlessly.”
“Now our food bowl is going to be at risk of a chemical known to cause cancer.”
She said Moorabool Council still did not have all the documents it needed to make a proper decision on any permit and that the community had not been consulted.
“When that soil comes here on Monday, the whole of Australia should be up in arms. Everyone should be up in arms. It’s disgusting.
“There will be action taken Monday. We are not going down without a fight.”
Transurban was contacted for comment and referred enquiries to MBC.
MBC has referred media enquiries to The Civic Group, who released a two-sentence statement via SMS on Friday afternoon.
** Do you have a news tip? Email email@example.com or contact us via Moorabool Online on Facebook.