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Opalvale Tip Fight Continues

An Update From Rosemary Madacsi


My apology to everyone for not maintaining my commitment to keeping the community informed. Unfortunately a heavy work load, Opalvale, Moondyne and life in general conspired to absorb my time since February. The short brief of Opalvale is to bring everyone up to date who may not have read the Toodyay Herald.

OPALVALE – (we are not dead yet!)
• In February 2015 the Opalvale proponents appealed to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) for an extension of their planning deadline (27 February 2015), in order to amend and submit a revised works application to the Department Environment Regulation (DER). DER had issued a ‘intent to refuse’ (their application) in the December due to the environmental issues raised by the community. SAT asked Council’s position on the extension and following advice the extension was granted.

• The Opalvale proponents then applied to Council for an extension of this planning approval deadline. Council unanimously refused the extension at the July Ordinary Council Meeting.

• The Opalvale proponents then appealed again to the SAT on the 17 August against Council’s decision to refuse their extension. Before a hearing was undertaken at SAT, the DER issued Opalvale’s work approval subject to conditions, 27 August (their planning approval deadline).

Note: this is not an approval to have the landfill but to engage in the construction of the first stage with the proviso that conditions set by the DER are met. A works approval is to meet the environmental factors, planning approval is still required. Planning approval is dependent on the conditions set by SAT and the issuing of the works approval. If either of these are not met, the planning approval ends. If DER is not satisfied the works approval conditions have been met, they can refuse to issue a license and the landfill cannot progress.

The conditions set by DER largely reflect community concerns and are generally quite strict. However some of the major water concerns raised by the community and acknowledged by the DER and Golder Associates, have not been covered.

• The core group met yesterday and will again next Saturday to finalise a community appeal – I will give you an up-date next Saturday of the core issues to appeal for.

• We as a community can only appeal the conditions of the works approval (as a third party). The aim is to ensure the conditions are as rigid as possible to protect against ‘failure’ and environmental contamination. We are however investigating other options.

• We recommend anyone contemplating an appeal, download the conditions from the DER ‘licensing’ website and compare these against the SAT orders (planning).

AHMAG Have been strong opponents of the proposed OPALVALE tip and will continue to HELP where we can and that is why this post is on the AHMAG FB page.

If you are contemplating an appeal yourself and would like a copy of the SAT orders, please let us know HERE and Rosemary with forward a copy to you.


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