Brookdale scandal relocates to the Goldfields

March 6, 2003 - In an ominous sign for Goldfields residents, the DEP has failed to prosecute Total Waste Management (TWM) for at least three breaches of their licence conditions, raising fears that the State Government is simply transferring the Brookdale debacle from one residential community to another.

In answer to questions in Parliament last night by Greens (WA) MLC Robin Chapple, the Minister stated that the company 'has to operate within the conditions of its licence and DEP will be conducting regular inspections to enforce these conditions.' This assurance rings hollow given the lack of enforcement of recent breaches, including operating without a licence, failing to submit an annual monitoring report on time and overfilling evaporation ponds.

In answer to questions in Parliament last night by Greens (WA) MLC Robin Chapple, the Minister for the Environment also admitted that TWM's commercial imperatives would determine how the State managed its toxic waste inventory.

'I am appalled to think that the Government's waste 'management' policies are being determined by how much waste TWM thinks it can get away with, with no coherent plan for what might become of the rest of the waste.'

'Has anybody spoken to communities along Great Eastern Highway, who will now be routinely exposed to shipments of hazardous waste through their towns?'

Mr Chapple said that it appeared the State's waste management strategy was continuing to lurch from crisis to crisis, with the Government having never learned the lessons of the Belleview fire.

'The Government is continually promoting the elimination of all waste by 2020, and it's time we saw some sign of this commitment in the real world,' Mr Chapple said. 'If we can't deal with the kinds of waste our society is producing, we need to take a long hard look at whether we can afford to be producing them at all.'

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