Bath tables lead acid battery petition for Hazelwood North community

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath has tabled a petition in state parliament opposing the Used Lead Acid Battery Plant (ULAB) in Hazelwood North.

Under the cover of Christmas holidays, Labor’s Planning Minister, Richard Wynne subverted due process by approving the facility despite Latrobe City Council denying the project a planning permit and an upcoming VCAT hearing scheduled in April 2021.

The petition containing 2355 signatures calls on Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne to reverse his decision to call in the project.

Ms Bath said members of the Hazelwood North community were determined to utilise all avenues to continue pressuring the Andrews Government to reverse its decision on the lead acid battery recycling plant.

“Residents are highly concerned the ULAB recycling facility presents an unacceptable environmental risk, and by calling in the project, the Minister has run roughshod over due process,”

“The Hazelwood North community feels abandoned by the Andrews Government’s actions and they want the decision be reversed.

“Residents are devasted that Labor approved the project without transparency or comprehensive community consultation.

“On behalf of the community I have twice called on the Andrews Government to conduct an independent environmental effects statement (EES), however Labor has rejected this and prevented the VCAT hearing from proceeding.

“Latrobe Valley residents have been left feeling abandoned and let down.

“It is a dereliction of duty for the Planning Minister to endorse a project which allows up to 54kg of lead to be emitted annually in close proximity to homes, a school and businesses and prime agriculture land.

“The Minister’s decision must be reversed, an independent EES undertaken and the community provided the opportunity to voice their concerns,” said Ms Bath.