West Gate Tunnel soil rules blasted as designated to ‘fast-track’ project


Taxpayers will forfeit hundreds of millions of dollars in landfill levies that were supposed to be paid by the West Gate Tunnel’s builders under new regulations quietly released by the Andrews government.

New environmental rules governing how landfill operators manage tunnel-boring soil released last week have been criticised for trading off environmental protections to resolve a protracted commercial dispute on the toll road project.

The regulations, which took effect from July 1, are designed to create uniform standards on the disposal of tunnel-boring soil. They require all landfill operators to complete an environmental management plan that will be audited and published online, but information deemed commercial in confidence will be kept secret.

However, operators can rip up key documents showing how they disposed of soil and leachate after two years under the rules written by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Tax records must be kept for five years.

Full Article

The Age, 9 July 2020
; https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/west-gate-tunnel-soil-rules-blasted-as-designed-to-fast-track-project-20200708-p55a67.html