Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Rubbish issue raised at council

Rubbish in the district was a topic of heated discussion at Campaspe Shire Council's meeting on Tuesday.

TRENT HORNEMAN December 14, 2012 4:52am

Last year's waste transfer station.

The region will be without a waste transfer station for campers between Echuca and Torrumbarry this summer.

Campaspe Shire took a swipe at Parks Victoria at Tuesday’s meeting, criticising it for not backing the transfer station at the corner of O’Dwyer Rd and the Murray Valley Hwy.

Parks Victoria trialled the temporary site last summer, with the site collecting about 10 tonnes of rubbish a day.

Parks has not allocated money for the project this year and Campaspe Shire is not prepared to pick up the tab.

Council will write to Victorian Environment Minister Ryan Smith to voice its disappointment at Parks Victoria.

Cr Paul Jarman said the shire would take a stand against the Victorian Government on the issue.

‘‘It is unfortunate that in my short time on council I have learnt a new word, ‘cost-shifting’.

‘‘This is a disservice to the community because from what I heard, last year’s trial was quite successful,’’ he said.

‘‘All too often local government is being left to manage these issues without resources. This is going to take some time to resolve, it is a long-term issue that is going to disappear.’’

Torrumbarry resident Greg Callaway addressed councillors at Tuesday night’s meeting, asking for action after Parks Victoria’s refusal to operate the transfer station.

Mr Callaway told councillors residents and businesses in the region had resorted to hiring skip bins for their homes and businesses and had campers pay a small fee to dump their rubbish.

He said residents had also used large tandem trailers and travelled to camp sites offering to collect rubbish for a small fee, but Parks Victoria had threatened to fine them for doing so.

‘‘Most of the trash is purchased locally from businesses in our local economy... I can defiantly say that campers do not mind paying for this service,’’ he said.

Mr Callaway said local residents had previously trialled managing rubbish disposal during the holiday period.

‘‘But why should we have to. We are sick and tired of picking up other people’s rubbish,’’ he said.

Cr Greg Toll, who has the council’s environment portfolio, slammed Parks Victoria for its decision.

‘‘This is a short-sighted decision and will be more costly in the long run. Litter is not only unsightly, it can have a devastating impact on the environment; suffocating the bush, contaminating the river and posing a threat to native animals,’’ he said.

‘‘Litter also costs money. The flow-on effect is that ratepayers’ dollars are used to clean up litter from camping sites and that which blows onto roadsides.’’

Campaspe Shire will place skip bins at key locations, including Echuca East boat ramp, Victoria Park, Torrumbarry Store and Gunbower Recreation Reserve at a cost of $8700.

The skips will be put in place two days before Christmas and removed at the end of February.

Council will also increase its street litter bin pick-up service during this period at a cost of $4300.

‘‘Campers can also dispose of their litter, separated into rubbish and recyclables, at no charge at the Echuca Environment Centre,’’ Cr Toll said.

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