I rise to speak to the coalition’s disallowance motion. The issue of dumping contaminated soil from the West Gate Tunnel Project has been a serious concern of many constituents across western Victoria particularly, and can I say that it is quite disappointing to be speaking about this issue once again. It seems that the community and local council voices are not being heard, because what they are asking for is transparency, and they are simply not getting this. Although as I write this speech I note that additional consultancy was being established through the appointment of a community liaison officer when we had our recent briefing; they are tasked with providing that conduit between the community and the department, although time will tell. Just last sitting week I asked a constituency question to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change. I raised the latest development in the toxic soil dumping issue, which is the approval by Environmental Protection Authority Victoria in sending the soil to Maddingley Brown Coal in my electorate and to Hi-Quality in Bulla. How can the EPA grant approval to dump toxic soil at these sites without being open and honest with the community about the risk-based trigger levels of PFAS whilst the soil is in containment? In other words, why redact information about what is a dangerous amount of a chemical that could leak into waterways and into Victoria’s produce? The people of Bacchus Marsh have a right to know. Just a few months ago I stood in this place and gave a very similar speech. I talked about a lack of community consultation, a lack of openness in conversation in particular with Moorabool Shire Council and the redacting of documents sought by those concerned. Indeed, I spoke to the Calleja Group last week, who said they were yet to speak to the council. I do not envy the position of local firms who have been brought into a complex dispute between the government and West Gate project managers, but here we are seven months later having the same conversations. And the soil is one thing; the roads used to transport the soil is another. During the most recent briefing I was made aware that the traffic disruption due to occur in Bacchus Marsh whilst the soil is being transported from the West Gate Tunnel out into the regions will go on for at least around two years. Now, anybody who has been to Bacchus Marsh and knows the area, in particular the Avenue of Honour, knows that it is a very narrow piece of road. It is already extremely busy, so one can only imagine what the incredible amount of trucks going up and down those roads 24 hours a day, seven days a week is going to do to the traffic in that area. I understand that there will be traffic controls put in place, but, my God, I would not want to be involved in that traffic jam. The alternate route, it was explained to me, was the Geelong-Bacchus Marsh Road. Now, anybody driving that road, which I did for two years, is putting their life in their own hands. It is a disgraceful road; I am pleased to see that there are a lot of roadworks going on at the moment to make it a much safer road. But jeez, for another two years? Well, all the best to those people travelling that road. My contribution to this debate, quite simply, is asking the government two things: number one, to please consult the community and in the same breath genuinely listen to their concerns; and number two, to give the people of Bacchus Marsh, their council and their representatives the information that they need to make informed decisions about the impact of dumping the toxic soil. The people of Bacchus Marsh deserve to know and deserve to be consulted. I urge this chamber to support the disallowance motion.

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