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Relief as Brooklyn avoids waste processing plant

Brooklyn residents are breathing a sigh of relief after it was announced the suburb will not be the site of a multimillion-dollar waste processing plant.

Metropolitan Waste Management Group has awarded the contract to Veolia, which will build a plant at Bulla and a transfer station at Wyndham. The plant will treat waste from 11 municipalities across Melbourne.

Brooklyn had long been touted as the most likely location for the new plant.

After a string of environmental issues in the area, Brooklyn Residents Action Group president Charlie Volpe is pleased to finally hear some good news. "We're ecstatic with the decision and can't believe they are building the plant elsewhere," he said. "We didn't think they were going to build the plant here, but we had a fear that because Brooklyn had been a dumping site before, it would continue to be."

Residents have long held concerns about the area's air quality and have been campaigning for the Environment Protection Authority to reduce dust levels. In February, nearby residents were told to stay indoors with their windows closed on hot, windy days because of unsafe dust levels. Air quality monitoring by the EPA found dust particles exceeded acceptable levels (50 micrograms a cubic metre) on 13 out of 100 days. This level of dust is normally associated with a bushfire.

Williamstown MP Wade Noonan said the decision would come as a relief to many residents who had put up with odours for too long.

"I'm very pleased that this major organic processing contract has not been awarded in the Brooklyn area," he said. "Local residents wrote to me back in July about their emphatic opposition to these plans and asked me to make representations on their behalf, which I did."

Mr Volpe is hoping the news is only the start of improvements in the Brooklyn industrial area.

"It's a real confidence boost that we are being heard and someone is actually listening. We're being proactive with our networking at every level to ensure we're speaking to the right people. It's time to celebrate; it's a new day for Brooklyn."

The tender process involved 11 northern and western metropolitan councils and will service the municipalities over the next 10-15 years.

The councils are Hobsons Bay, Hume, Maribyrnong, Banyule, Brimbank, Darebin, Melton, Moonee Valley, Moreland, Nillumbik and Wyndham.

Source: Brimbank Weekly: http://www.brimbankweekly.com.au


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