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Victoria: plans for the Mallee toxic waste dump are abandoned.

 

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End of the Mallee toxic waste dump plan

 

By Kellie Boyce

 

Thursday, 11/01/2007

 

For almost three years "No Mallee Toxic Waste Dump" has been the catch-cry for protestors concerned about a long-term waste containment facility being built at Nowingi, but this week Sunraysia residents celebrated the news that the Bracks Government would not proceed with the facility after an independent planning panel recommended the project shouldn't go ahead.

 

Community leaders and members of the Save the Food Bowl Alliance fought back tears after hearing the news.

 

Within an hour of the announcement the Sunraysia Daily had printed posters saying "We've won" which were promptly distributed throughout the district.

 

The announcement put Mildura back in the media spotlight. The region made the front page of Victorian newspapers and lead national news bulletins on Tuesday night.

 

The fight has taken up a great deal of energy and funds. Mildura Rural City Council has spent around $2 million of ratepayer money and then Save the Food Bowl Alliance members spent many hours organising rallies, meeting with other organisations and attending the planning panel sittings that were held last year.

 

Farmers have been concerned the facility would ruin their clean and green image making it difficult to sell produce.

 

Environmentalists focused on the facility being too close to the Murray River and Hattah National Park. The site also was home to some endangered and threatened species.

 

Other communities along the Calder and Sunraysia Highways expressed concern about the waste travelling through their towns.

 

The Bracks Government has now decided that instead of building a new long-term containment facility it will look for new technologies to reduce prescribed waste. To make this happen landfill levies will be increased from $26 per tonne to $130 per tonne next financial year. Another levy increase will also take place the following financial year.

 

Sunraysia residents

 

Mildura Rural City Council mayor John Arnold (centre) celebrates the win with Sunraysia residents in the Langtree Mall. (courtesy Darren Seiler)

 

Photo Gallery

 

Click image for larger version:

 

Local residents gather at the Mildura Airport to welcome home Member for Mildura Peter Crisp and Save the Food Bowl Alliance chairman Bernie Sleep.

Member for Mildura Peter Crisp and Save the Food Bowl Alliance chairman Bernie Sleep acknowledge the crowd at the Mildura Airport after being in Melbourne for the Bracks Government announcement.

 

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