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Parliamentary Questions

Question On Notice No. 2694 asked in the Legislative Council on 19 November 2019 by Hon Charles Smith

Question Directed to the: Minister for Environment
Minister responding: Hon S.N. Dawson
Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Question

(1) I refer to the Minister's response of 3 September 2019 regarding question on notice 2299 and ask, can the Minister advise on the legislation, section and clause(s) referred to by the Minister in his response of 3 September 2019?
(2) How did the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation investigate the unapproved landfill at the property (1056 Great Northern Highway)?
(3) How did the Department of Water and Environmental regulation arrive at the Minister's response of 3 September 2019?
(4) How much landfill (m3) has been delivered to the property?
(5) Where on the property was the landfill spread (if necessary please provide a map)?
(6) How much of the property has landfill on it?
(7) What is the maximum thickness of the landfill?
(8) How many sources (addresses) has the landfill come from?
(9) Can the Minister please provide advice on each of these source(s) (addresses)?
(10) What type of landfill (soil types, building demolition rubble, etc..) were delivered and what are their respective quantities (m3)?
(11) Was each delivery (truck load/skip load) of landfill tested for contamination?
(12) In relation to (11), can independent certificates of the testing be provided for each delivery of landfill?
(13) Has the landfill caused any detrimental effects?
(14) If yes to (13), can the Minister please detail the detrimental effect(s) and how and when each were rectified?

Answered on 5 December 2019

(1) The Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act) and the Environmental Protection Regulations 1987 (EP Regulations). Section 52 of the EP Act makes it an offence for occupier of premises that undertake works causing the premises to become, or to become capable of becoming a prescribed premises unless that it is done in accordance with a works approval.

Regulation 5 of the EP Regulations, provides that the premises specified in Schedule 1 are prescribed premises for the purposes of the EP Act.  Based on the alleged activities the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) considered that the activities that would apply under Schedule 1 are as follows:

Category number

Description of category

Production or design capacity

61A

Solid waste facility: premises (other than premises within category 67A) on which solid waste produced on other premises is stored, reprocessed, treated, or discharged onto land.

1 000 tonnes or more per year

62

Solid waste depot: premises on which waste is stored, or sorted, pending final disposal or re-use.

500 tonnes or more per year

63

Class I inert landfill site: premises (other than clean fill premises) on which waste of a type permitted for disposal for this category of prescribed premises, in accordance with the Landfill Waste Classification and Waste Definitions 1996, is accepted for burial.

500 tonnes or more per year

 

(2) The DWER investigation included a desk top assessment of aerial imagery, a site inspection of the property, the collection of evidence from a supplier of the material and obtaining information from the City of Swan.

(3) DWER reviewed the information collected through the investigation and determined that the works did not trigger the requirement for a works approval under the EP Act. There was no evidence indicating that contaminated material had been received at the property.

(4) Given its identified use, DWER did not consider it necessary to quantify the volume (m3) of material delivered to the property.

(5)-(6) DWER identified that the material was being used for two internal roads and as a firebreak around the boundary of the property.

(7) DWER did not determine the maximum thickness of the material being used at the property.

(8) One source was confirmed.

(9) Wombat Waste, 314 Gnangara Road, Landsdale, which has since been sold and no longer operates from that address.

(10) The material included crushed brick, concrete and roof tile track material. DWER did not determine the quantities.

(11) – (12) Test results for contamination were provided to DWER by the City of Swan based on sampling that it had undertaken at property on or around 3 November 2016. Additional test results taken from stockpiles on 22 May 2017 were provided by Wombat Waste.

(13) DWER did not identify any evidence of detrimental effects that constitute an offence under the EP Act.

(14) Not applicable.