Questions on Notice Minister for Planning ULAB Hazelwood North

3324   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North by Chunxing Corporation Pty. Ltd.:

(1) Why was an independent Environmental Effects Statement refused to be instigated when it was called for 12 months ago.

(2)   What due diligence and financial analysis have been conducted to ascertain that Chunxing Corporation can viably conduct the project safely and in accordance with the world’s best standards.

(3)   What assurance can be provided to the people of the Latrobe Valley that a potentially dangerous facility will not negatively impact upon the health of the residents in the short, medium and long term.

(4)   Is Chunxing Corporation a privately owned or publicly listed entity in China.

(5)   How can the Latrobe Valley community be assured that their health, rural environment and amenities, including a primary school in proximity to the facility, will not be adversely affected.

 

3325   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North:

(1)   Why has the Minister, or a Labor Member of Parliament, not met with the Hazelwood North Community after the Latrobe City Council refused to grant a permit.

(2)   Has the Minister met with any members of the Hazelwood North Community prior to the Minister’s decision to exercise power of intervention, amendment C129LATR on 31 December 2020, and if so, when and with whom, and if not, why has the community’s concerns been ignored.

 

3326   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery (ULAB) recycling facility at Hazelwood North by Chunxing Corporation Pty. Ltd.: When stating that “the prompt adoption and approval of the amendment will facilitate the timely delivery of a project that is shovel ready and will promptly stimulate the Victorian economy and create job and investment opportunities” —

(a)  what is the definition of the term ‘shovel ready’;

(b)  how does Chunxing Corporation’s ULAB proposal meet an acceptable definition of shovel ready; and

(c)   why was the proposal called in shortly after the criteria for the Development Facilitation Program had been reassessed.

 

3327   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North and noting the Minister’s statement on 27 November 2020 that “the Development Facilitation Program recommended I consider intervening to fast track the project, as it is shovel ready, will provide economic stimulus during the COVID-19 pandemic of $50 million, generate 100 construction jobs and 68 ongoing jobs, aligns with government policy, particularly Plan Melbourne directions, and government priorities and will deliver significant public benefit” —

(a)  what evidence does the Minister have detailing the 100 construction and 68 operational jobs;

(b)  how many full-time positions will be based in —

(i)    China; and

(ii)   the Latrobe Valley for Chinese nationals.

 

3328   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North by Chunxing Corporation Pty. Ltd.: Do any of the listed Directors of Chunxing Corporation Pty. Ltd., Feng Chen and Lakshman Dissanayake Jayaweera, hold any directorships with foreign companies, and if so, which ones.

 

3329   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North and noting that the Minister stated “the main benefit of the exemption is that it will enable a prompt decision to be made on the adoption and approval of amendment C129LATR … the amendment facilitates the timely delivery of a project that is shovel ready and will provide prompt and urgently needed economic benefits to Victoria and net community benefit…the benefits include investment and employment opportunities, including jobs and materials recycling, with a designated Heavy Industry Precinct”: Will the Minister provide documentation of the analysis used to reach the conclusion, regarding the statement of net community benefit, considering the community has already experienced an economic loss of families and children from the local school.

 

3330   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North: Why were the concerns raised by the community regarding landfill and the treatment of industrial waste, as identified by the Latrobe City Council in their assessment of the planning permit application not addressed.

 

3331   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery (ULAB) recycling facility at Hazelwood North by Chunxing Corporation Pty. Ltd. and health outcomes for all Latrobe Valley residents:

  • What is the justification for ignoring the Latrobe Health Innovation Zone when considering the proposed ULAB development.
  • How does the Chunxing Corporation ULAB development conflict with the Latrobe Health Innovation Zone.
  • Is the Latrobe Health Innovation Zone incorporated into the Latrobe City Council Planning Scheme, and if not, what impact will this have on the Minister’s ability to exercise power of intervention, amendment C129LATR.

 

3332   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North and noting the alternative motion with an associated list of conditions proposed by the Latrobe City Council at the special council meeting on 17 September 2020:  Has the Minister considered those particular conditions for the proposed project.

 

3333   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North by Chunxing Corporation Pty. Ltd.: What State Government assistance will be provided to Chunxing Corporation Pty. Ltd. in meeting their ongoing operating costs and financial obligations, including —

(a)   gas subsidies and other utilities;

(b)   company tax and municipal rates; and

(c)   land fill costs.

 

3334   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North: What existing lead battery recycling facilities, both locally and overseas, were consulted to assist with feasibility studies.

 

3335   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery (ULAB) recycling facility at Hazelwood North and Sustainability Victoria’s analysis of lead recycling in Victoria, that stated ‘there are no facilities in Victoria that can recycle lead acid batteries’, when in fact Hydromet Corporation in Laverton North performs this function: How will the ULAB Smelter impact on the Hydromet Secondary Lead Smelter.

 

3336   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North: What are the details of ‘expert advice’ provided to the State Government that recommended the project be granted approval.

 

3337   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North by Chunxing Corporation Pty. Ltd.:

  • Why did the State Government issue Chunxing Corporation a licence for the Hazelwood North facility to emit 54kg of lead when it was stated that actual lead emissions will be 16kg per year.
  • Is the State Government planning for the expansion of the facility or is there a lack of confidence in the operator to maintain its standard.

 

3338   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North by Chunxing Corporation Pty. Ltd.: What conditions, or legal requirement, will be placed on Chunxing Corporation to remediate waste, chemical contamination of the site and surrounding environment upon the termination of operations.

 

3339   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North by Chunxing Corporation Pty. Ltd.: Will a rehabilitation bond be provided by Chunxing Corporation to cover all costs of site clean-up, remediation and rehabilitation if they cease operations and walked away from the project.

 

3340   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North by Chunxing Corporation Pty. Ltd.: What responses, if any, has the Environmental Protection Authority received from Chunxing Corporation in relation to Works Approval Conditions that must be addressed before work commences.

 

3341   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North by Chunxing Corporation Pty. Ltd.: How will the Minister verify emissions if the Environmental Protection Authority Works Approval Application is forecasted based on emissions from the Chunxing Corporation plant.

 

3342   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North and an invitation only meeting held on 29 January 2021 with the Member for the Eastern Victoria Region, Ms Harriet Shing MLC, and the Member for Morwell, Mr Russell Northe MP:

(1)   Why was there no representative in attendance from the Gippsland based Environment Protection Authority Works Application Approval assessment.

(2)   Why was there no representative in attendance from the Department of Education and Training given the proposed facility will be 1.7km away from the Hazelwood North Primary School.

 

3343   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North: How will the Minister address concerns in relation to environmental pollutants as conveyed by the parents of students who attend the Hazelwood North Primary School.

 

3344   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North: What process was implemented by the Environment Protection Authority to evaluate the applicant’s self-assessment in relation to the risks associated with —

(a)   air emissions and impacts upon human health;

(b)   soil and water quality and impacts upon human health;

(c)   community health and wellbeing;

(d)   employee health and wellbeing;

(e)   proposed emergency management systems; and

(f)    hazardous materials.

 

3345   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North by Chunxing Corporation Pty. Ltd.: What measures will be undertaken by Chunxing Corporation to mitigate noise pollution, given the proposed facility will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.

 

3346   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North by Chunxing Corporation Pty. Ltd.and the Human Health Assessment prepared by Environmental Risk Sciences (EnRisks) for Chunxing Corporation:

(1)   What consideration has been given to their finding that the population in the areas surrounding the site may be more susceptible to health-related impacts associated with the project compared to the general population of Victoria.

(2)   Why did air modelling not account for upset operating conditions.

 

3347   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North: How does the facility comply with the State Government objective to improve the health of the Latrobe Valley community.

 

3348   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North: What expert advice was obtained by the Environment Protection Authority to ensure that a lead acid battery recycling facility, in close proximity to residences and educational settings, will not adversely impact upon human health.

 

3349   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North: When lead exposure and toxicity remains the most significant concern to residents of the Latrobe Valley, can the Minister please provide —

(a)   the actual annual emissions of lead per year by the proposed facility; and

(b)   what types of monitoring will be implemented to measure long term lead levels, when blood lead testing only reflects short term exposure.

 

3350   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North: How does the project align with the Latrobe Health Innovation Zone when the focus of the Health Zone is to improve health outcomes for the Latrobe Valley’s young and old residents established in response to community concerns about health impacts.

 

3351   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North by Chunxing Corporation Pty. Ltd.: Have Chunxing Corporation applied for, or received, any funding under the Latrobe Valley Economic Development Program.

 

3352   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North by Chunxing Corporation Pty. Ltd.: Will the Latrobe Valley Authority provide Chunxing Corporation any funding to facilitate the project’s completion and operation.

 

3353   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North and an officer’s report considered by the Latrobe City Council on 17 September 2020 that recommended approval of the Planning Permit, application 2020/16, on the basis of compliance with the purpose of the Industrial 2 Zone and consistency with the Planning Policy Framework and relevant planning provisions: 

(1)   What has been done to address the 39 permit conditions when —

(a)  the Latrobe City Council did not accept the report’s recommendation; and

(b)  the Latrobe City Council resolved to issue a Notice of Decision to refuse to grant a permit as issued on 18 September 2020.

(2)   Why have the issues set out by the Latrobe City Council in its decision to refuse to grant a permit not been addressed.

 

3354   MS BATH — To ask the Minister for Workplace Safety (for the Minister for Planning):  In relation to the proposed construction and operation of a used lead acid battery recycling facility at Hazelwood North: Did the Minister intervene in the approval process to avoid scrutiny under Australia’s Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Act 2020, as assented to in December 2020.

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