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The Southern Beaches Conservation Society (SBCS) is concerned that residents affected by the Forcett bushfire will be taken advantage of by a company wanting to build a contaminated waste facility in its midst.

“Following this recent devastation, the last thing we locals need is to spend our energy trying to prevent the contaminated waste cell,” said SBCS President Angela Marsh. “This is clearly a fire-prone area next to a major river and water catchment. It is the wrong location. We do not deserve to become Tasmania’s landfill, so give us a break and let us get on with rebuilding our devastated communities.”

“This fire has roared along a thickly forested area from Forcett all the way to Eaglehawk neck - allowing a contaminated waste cell to be placed in the midst of this forest is irresponsible. The fire has gone right over the top of the existing waste facility and the proposed C Cell site. In the midst of the fire storm the site was evacuated leaving it undefended with no one to run the generator and pumps needed to manage the leachate and it remained unattended for a considerable period after the fire due to access restrictions.”

A resident with a fire-devastated property near the Copping waste site said, “The heat of the bushfire was so intense it melted glass windows. There is nothing left except rubble, molten glass and molten aluminium.”

Ms Marsh stated that “If the proposed C Cell had been in place, the cover, plastic and clay liners would likely have been damaged by the intense heat. The effects of leachate from contaminated waste on the surrounding catchment and waterways would have been catastrophic. If contents of the landfill had ignited, winds would have blown toxic fumes over everyone in a large radius dictated only by prevailing wind direction.”

“The existing and proposed SWS’ landfill sites are not part of our communities’ vision for a bright and viable future. Their plans to operate this site for up to 200 years is not the future
we hope our children will have. Commonwealth Regional Development funding must be reassessed in light of this tragedy because we have many more important and deserving needs.”

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