More than 400 people vented their frustrations over a proposal to bring contaminated soil into the area at a town meeting in Bacchus Marsh last night.
In a largely civil, but at times rowdy meeting, crowds filled the Bacchus Marsh Town Hall and spilled out into the street as community members sought answers about the potential impact on the town and nearby farms.
Maddingley Brown Coal has tendered to receive and store unclassified spoil from the Westgate Tunnel Project. The tender is with Transurban, which will decide on its preferred site. It will then need to be ratified by the planning minister.
Members of a newly formed group, the Bacchus Marsh Community Coalition, which organised and ran last night’s meeting, said their concerns about the proposed dumping were growing.
“[Maddingley Brown Coal] has Parwan Creek running through it, it’s adjacent to Werribee River, very close to Bacchus Marsh Grammar and Bacchus Marsh College schools, and those waterways obviously service the irrigators in the market gardens of the area,” a group spokesman said.
“That’s why this group of local residents is concerned. We don’t want this here.”
Local MPs Steve McGhie and Michaela Settle, Upper House MP for Western Victoria Beverley McArthur, Moorabool mayor David Edwards, shire chief executive Derek Madden, and Colleen Hartland from the National Toxics Network all attended the meeting.