This report documents the experiences of western suburbs communities that are struggling for environmental justice while having huge rubbish tips and toxic waste dumps imposed on them.
Raising a stink outlines community concerns, including that Victoria’s EPA:
- Issued ‘global works approvals’ to allow rubbish tips in the west to keep adding new dump areas for up to 40 years without needing to seek subsequent approvals
- Advised residents who live near the Ravenhall and Werribee landfills to provide evidence of bad smells by trapping the smells in odour collection canisters (rather than employing readily available gas and odour monitoring equipment)
- Failed to monitor air quality at the Tullamarine hazardous waste landfill for 15 years
- Failed to stop the spread of a plume of contaminated groundwater from the Tulla toxic dump
- Failed to ban toxic fluorescent tubes from landfills, even though they have been banned from tips in parts of Europe and the USA since the 1990s
- Uses a ‘safe toxicity’ threshold that assumes an industrial context – which is inappropriate for protecting nearby residents, who are there (and thereby exposed) all the time
- Generally relies on industry to self-report problems.
Read: Raising a stink: Communities from Melbourne’s West struggle for environmental justice (PDF, 3MB)