Northern Grampians waste management services rationalised

WASTE management services in Northern Grampians Shire will be rationalised under a State Government plan to amalgamate 12 waste authorities into six new ones.

Mayor Kevin Erwin said the new Grampians Central West Waste and Resource Recovery Group would cover an area from Bacchus Marsh to the South Australian border.

The new authority takes over on August 1.

Cr Erwin said council was unable to stop the move.

“Whether you like it or you don’t, that’s the way it’s going to be,” he said.

“It will be a large group and it will be difficult to manage but that’s the way it’s heading.”

Cr Wayne Rice said he feared the move would see waste management strategy dominated by regional population centres and therefore have a negative impact on communities within the municipality.

“I feel that we smaller unsustainable councils are going to be losers,” he said.

“We will be dominated and we will be overrun by bigger regional centres.”

He said he understood the government’s mind was made up but the amalgamation would not reduce red tape.

Council is seeking to pass on all waste management assets, including the planning permit for the Pomonal Road landfill. It wants the permit transferred to the new authority to relinquish any financial burden.

Grampians Regional Waste Management Group holds the licence for the landfill, and the council, which holds the planning permit, regulates the activity of the licence holder.

Licences are being taken back by the government as part of the amalgamation process.

Council is unsure who will control the landfill licence when the new bodies come into being, and is seeking urgent clarification from the three ministers responsible – Environment Minister Ryan Smith, Planning Minister Matthew Guy and Local Government Minister Jeanette Powell.

Council is seeking a resolution to the matter before July 31.

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