August 12, 2017

Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed and Moira Shire Council have called on the Victorian Government to include a Numurkah tyre dump in its audit of recycling facilities.

This week, in parliament, Ms Sheed used her constituency question to ask Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio if the tyre stack in question would be audited by a recently announced joint taskforce because of its ongoing fire risk to the town of Numurkah.

Last month, the government announced an audit of key recycling sites requiring extra management measures to ensure community safety, which will be undertaken by representatives from Environment Protection Authority, Country Fire Authority, Metropolitan Fire Brigade and Emergency Management Victoria.

‘‘Tyres are flammable and when they are stored together in large volumes they can create a serious fire hazard which, once ignited, can be very difficult to extinguish,’’ Ms Sheed said in Parliament on Tuesday.

‘‘The impact of fires at recycling sites on local communities was highlighted by the recent Coolaroo fire which saw the evacuation of the community.

‘‘While the Shire of Moira has taken the dump owners to the Supreme Court, tyres remain on the site close to the town, forming a hazard that many of my constituents have contacted me about.’’

Moira Shire Council chief Mark Henderson said it takes the issue of environmental safety extremely seriously and would welcome any progress in that regard.

‘‘We’re doing an audit of the stockpile next week to check progress against the current Supreme Court order that requires its removal,’’ he said.

‘‘Looking ahead, the continued presence of stockpiled tyres at this site in Numurkah is concerning, especially with the state government intervening to have the EPA deal with the stockpile at Stawell.

‘‘Safety at Numurkah is just as important as safety at Stawell and with the summer season approaching we need to get the stockpile removed.’’

Earlier in 2017, company owners of the tyre dump started the first step in fulfilling a Supreme Court order to clear the site by August 2018.

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