Bath calls for greater transparency in Lead Battery Recycling following EES rejection

Labor’s rejection of an Environmental Effects Statement (EES) for the proposed Hazelwood North Lead Battery Recycling facility has triggered calls for greater transparency.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath said she is disappointed that Labor denied her request for an EES on the proposed lead battery recycling facility in Hazelwood North.

“There is significant community apprehension around the Chunxing Corporation project and an EES would have investigated resident’s valid concerns around health and environmental impacts in Hazelwood North,” said Ms Bath.

“The Andrews Labor Government denied the EES under a number of grounds, but under their criteria the proponent surprisingly stated, ‘No residences will be displaced or impacted by the proposal.’

“Hazelwood North residents strongly disagree, saying the project has too many unanswered questions.”

Ms Bath said frustratingly, an EES would have been the best method to provide quality information and delivered the transparency and reporting objectivity the community need.”

“With the planned battery recycling facility to be built only two kilometres from homes, the local primary school and a playgroup in Hazelwood North, the residents’ requests are not unreasonable” said Ms Bath.

“In regional NSW a recent proposed battery recycling facility located five kilometres from the nearest residential homes underwent a comprehensive EES.

“Local residents are a very important stakeholder as the lead battery recycling plant will impact their families, they deserve peace of mind provided by an EES.”

The request for an EES on the lead battery recycling facility was dismissed by the Andrews Labor Government on the grounds that Chunxing Corporation had completed a self-assessment on the project.

Ms Bath said she has sought a copy of the self-assessment as residents are legitimately concerned about environmental and health reporting when the evaluation was not undertaken by an independent third party.

“Hazelwood North residents are passionate about their country lifestyle, understandably they do not want their idyllic rural community compromised,” said Ms Bath.

“Labor must properly address the community’s concern and provide full transparency on the planned lead battery recycling facility to the residents of Hazelwood North.”