VICTORIAN treasurer Tim Pallas has been invited to see the former Port Fairy tip site firsthand.
Moyne Shire is seeking considerable funding to help manage the environmental risks associated with the closed landfill located in the sand dunes on East Beach.
Cr Jordan Lockett took part in the recent Budget Breakfast With The Treasurer event in Melbourne and took the opportunity to quiz Mr Pallas on several key local issues, including the former Port Fairy tip site.
Mr Pallas said he was not familiar with the issue but “the state recognises its responsibility around environmental protection” and “wouldn’t shirk its responsibilities”.
The treasurer said he “would be more than happy to talk to council and (Port Fairy-based MP) James Purcell” on the matter.
Subsequent to the meeting Cr Lockett has written to Mr Pallas, formally inviting the treasurer to inspect the “unfortunate example of a waste management legacy of the past coinciding with the climate challenges of the future”.
Both Cr Lockett and fellow Port Fairy-based councillor Mick Wolfe said sorting out the issue of the former East Beach landfill was a priority for them over the next four years.
Cr Wolfe, who has been helping lead the push to secure the $20 million needed for the project, said a visit from Mr Pallas couldn’t hurt the shire’s attempts to get the funding.
Cr Wolfe said the shire was making progress already, having secured $120,000 from state environment minister Lily D’Ambrosio, who visited the old tip site recently, for a detailed report into the matter.
“(Ms D’Ambrosio) has found us the $120,000 to get an independent consultant in and come up with a strategy on how (the tip site) can be made safe, whether that’s removal or further protection,” Cr Wolfe said.
“Once that strategy is done, there will be consultation with the Department of Environment, Water, Land and Planning, the Environmental Protection Agency and us, and that’s when the funding decision will be made.
“There won’t be a decision made on it until that report is done to show the risk, consequences and solution. If we can come up with a solution, that’s when I’m confident we’ll get the money to fix the problem.”