Dardanup Environmental Action Group prepare to take campaign “global”

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times
VideoDardanup environmental action groups steps up its campaign against cleanaway expansion

The Dardanup Environmental Action Group wants to take its campaign against Cleanaway’s expansion of its Banksia Road landfill site “global” to deliver a clear message.

Group member Rob Manning said the confidence of the company’s WA general manager Damian Burton that he would garner the support of the community ahead of two information sessions last week was misled.

“I think the overwhelming response from both meetings was that we don’t want further expansion,” Mr Manning said.

“It was a powerful message we gave to Damian Burton on both nights, but the disappointing thing was that he obviously wasn’t listening.”

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“I think Cleanaway see profit, see money and see growth ahead of people – that’s the resounding message I got from both meetings.”

Information sessions were held at the Dardanup and Ferguson halls after Mr Burton had said the company was committed to being a “good neighbour” and engaging the community.

Fellow group member Ellen Lilly said the main concern for residents was the company could not be trusted to store more mining waste.

She said Mr Burton outlined several breaches during the information sessions but downplayed their significance.

“They are currently in breach of their existing operating guidelines and regulations,” she said.

“If they cannot manage the waste facility that they have, how can they manage a mining waste facility?”

Mr Manning said “enough is enough” because the community already took more than its fair share of waste from other areas.

“We are doing our bit for waste management here in Dardanup — we really are,” he said. “Now they are expecting us to take in the world’s lithium waste and to spread this waste site further into our pristine Ferguson Valley.”

Mr Manning said only a small group had been organised to rally against the site’s expansion but ongoing public meetings were planned.

“We are going to engage the people of Dardanup and the broader area in working groups who will all be doing their bits to make this issue known globally.

“We have to engage everyone in Dardanup and beyond to fight this – there is passion, there is resentment and there is anger in this town.”

Mr Burton confirmed that a small amount of PFAS was brought into the facility without prior notice in 2015 but said it had been stored within an appropriately designed cell.

“One of our bores had PFAS above the reportable limit but that was independently tested and we were told, given the location of the reading, the source had to be external,” he said.

He also refuted claims that he had not listened at the meetings and said actions the company had taken showed it was genuinely interested in working with the community.

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