Statement: Toxic waste disposal on the grassy plains

Grassy Plains Network statement, September 15 2020

Grassy Plains Network lends our support to those communities fighting to stop PFAS-chemical-contaminated soil from the Westgate Tunnel Project being stored and disposed of in their communities. The proposed storage/disposal sites at places like Ravenhall, Maddingley and Bulla are all adjacent to grassland and related native habitat areas. The use of grasslands sites for landfill and toxic waste disposal is symptomatic of the traditional disregard of the value of these precious areas for nature conservation.

We note that as PFAS chemicals are highly mobile in water, and that they bioaccumulate in plants and animals with potentially serious ecotoxicological effects in many species, not just humans. We are aware of endangered species found in close proximity to these sites that may be affected. We have grave concerns that, given the lack of expertise and experience in safe storage and remediation of PFAS, and the rush with which this process is being pushed forward, it will result in further damage to the grassy plains ecosystems as well as the communities that live on the plains, and that any damage done may turn out to be irreversible.

For more information on the community campaigns (separate to Grassy Plains Network):

Bacchus Marsh Community Coalition (on Facebook)

Stop the Soil petition (Melton and Brimbank councils)