Extra costs for Cosgrove 3 landfill site

By Ashlea Witoslawski

Greater Shepparton City Council’s newest landfill site is close to opening but not without some last-minute costs.

An extra $392085 was approved by councillors at Tuesday’s council meeting to monitor landfill construction at the site.

According to the meeting’s agenda, the Environment Protection Authority required a Geotechnical Investigations and Testing Authority to oversee all activities during the works.

It was also preferred by the EPA that all construction activities be continuously monitored by the same GITA throughout the project to ensure consistency.

As the works have been extended through to June, so have the costs for engineering firm SMEC, which was the designated GITA at the site.

Council corporate services director Chris Teitzel said the project completion was delayed during the financial year due to a need to redesign the facility’s drainage.

Mr Teitzel said the issue arose after construction hit some unexpected solid rock.

Cr Dennis Patterson seconded the motion, although he shared some concerns about the added financial burden the site continued to add on ratepayers.

‘‘The EPA have lost control and I think it’s going far too far,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s costing us millions and it’s getting out of hand.’’

About $31.5million has been allocated to Cosgrove 2 and Cosgrove 3 landfills in the past five council budgets.

This includes about $5.5million in the 2018-19 financial year.

In addition to this, $500000 towards clay pit works and site infrastructure in the 2019-20 budget was also approved at Tuesday’s meeting, of which $250000 was carried over from last year’s budget.

Following the council meeting, City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Kim O’Keeffe agreed with Cr Patterson’s cost concerns, but said it was a necessary facility.

‘‘It’s a state-of-the-art, innovative, incredible facility.’’

She said focusing on community awareness and education around good practice would be a high priority at Cosgrove 3, which could help save money in the future.

Cr Fern Summer also shared her thoughts on the project, moving the motion to approve the revised figure at the meeting.

‘‘There’s going to be some ups and downs with the project,’’ Cr Summer said.

‘‘Obviously collecting waste does come at a cost.

‘‘It doesn’t disappear when you put it into the bin.’’