The Petition of certain citizens of the State of Victoria draws to the attention of the Legislative Council the planning approval of a Used Lead Acid Battery recycling facility in Hazelwood North, Gippsland.
The approval of the planning permit by the Minister for Planning has truncated the community’s right to a fair, transparent and democratic approval process. This action has undermined 18 months of community consultation and is against the express wishes of the community and the Latrobe City Council. An open court case in Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal was due to be heard in April 2021. The intervention has prevented this from proceeding.
The Victorian Government made a commitment to prioritise the needs of the Latrobe Valley community, making it the first Health Innovation Zone in Australia. The development of a secondary lead smelter contradicts this commitment.
The secondary lead smelter has been approved to emit up to 54kgs of lead every year. This will fall directly on local primary schools, a playgroup, residential homes, main roads, existing businesses and agricultural land. The project poses an unacceptable health risk to the Latrobe Valley community, jeopardising the health and wellbeing of future generations through exposure to lead emissions and contamination of our air, soil and water. There is no safe level of lead that is not harmful.