Group action results in bid for lithium waste dropped

Zoe KeenanSouth Western Times
Dardanup Environmental Action Group members Jill Cross, David Birch, Heather Elliott, Val Brandstater, Rob Manning and Ellen Lilly celebrate the win.
Camera IconDardanup Environmental Action Group members Jill Cross, David Birch, Heather Elliott, Val Brandstater, Rob Manning and Ellen Lilly celebrate the win. Credit: Zoe Keenan

It has been a long 12 months for the group protesting against a waste storage company’s bid to store lithium waste in their backyard, but they can finally celebrate a win.

Cleanaway has confirmed it removed its bid to store lithium waste at its Banksia Road waste facility near the town of Dardanup.

When the Dardanup Environmental Action Group learnt of Cleanaway’s bid to store lithium waste from the nearby lithium project in Greenbushes, the group firmly protested.

For 12 months the group has been holding public protests and written letters to politicians, held weekly meetings and town hall meetings and done everything in its power to stop the waste entering their pristine backyard.

“Initially we were all shocked but obviously we’re very excited and really pleased Cleanaway have withdrawn the application,” group spokeswoman Ellen Lilly said.

“We just really want to thank everyone in Dardanup and the local community, everyone came behind us and supported us.”

She said the community already experienced problems with dust from the waste at the facility and questioned how the company could manage mining waste.

During their protests the group outlined a number of concerns including dust issues.

Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray said he was glad common sense prevailed and happy to see the Dardanup community win their battle.

“Members of the Dardanup community have contacted me regularly ... about erroneous dust emissions from the site,” Mr Murray said.

“Given Cleanaway already has trouble mitigating dust emissions at the Banksia Road site I fail to see how it would have handled the extra work load without impacting the neighbouring town site further.”

“I’m not sure whether this is the end of the matter, but I still believe there are other alternatives Albemarle should consider in terms of how it handles its tailings.”

Ms Lilly said it was not the end for the group, who would continue to question where the lithium waste would go, and make sure the bid was not put back on the table.

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