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Interagency operations team

EPA is leading an interagency operation team. The team includes representatives from  Fire Rescue Victoria, The City of Greater Geelong (the council), Victoria Police, WorkSafe and the Department of Health. We’re working together to minimise the risk of fire at the site and keep the community safe.

The council issued a temporary permit for a small recycling facility at this site in 2013.

The operator, C&D Recycling, consistently breached the planning permit conditions. The council  worked for several years to have the facility brought into compliance or cease operating.

In 2016 the council applied to have the planning permit revoked. However, VCAT ordered the council to issue a permanent planning permit. VCAT issued enforcement orders for planning permit compliance. The operator continued to breach the orders. Court action has been taken on several occasions.

In 2019, C&D recycling and the site's owners went into liquidation. We used our powers to enter the site and undertake a cleanup project in April 2019.

Our role at Broderick Road is to:

  • enforce the law
  • reduce risks to human health and the environment
  • prevent future potential harm.

Our work at Broderick Road

We’re managing the Broderick Road cleanup. We’re leading the interagency operations team to:

  • clean up the site and make it safe
  • dispose of waste materials
  • minimise fire risk.

The waste stockpile is about 286,000 m3. It is mostly construction and demolition waste, including:

  • timber
  • concrete
  • bricks
  • soil
  • plaster
  • plastic
  • glass
  • ceramics.

Due to the large amount of waste, the cleanup will continue until about mid-2022. Measures are in place to reduce fire risk and manage potential fires while the waste is removed. These include:

  • an onsite water truck
  • improved road access for firefighters
  • one million litres of tank water to supplement other supplies
  • heavy machinery to help with firefighting
  • hydrant lines along site boundary
  • site security
  • CCTV cameras with infrared
  • drone monitoring with thermal capabilities
  • secure perimeter fencing.

We have community updates and factsheets about the cleanup:

The cleanup so far

The cleanup is happening in three main stages:

  • Stage one – removal of a 26,600 mof timber
  • Stage two – removal of 7,600 m3 (13,000 tonnes) of contaminated soil
  • Stage three – removal of the remaining 250,000 m3 (approximately) of mixed construction and demolition waste.

Stage one

We began work in September 2019, and this work is now complete.  Our contractor processed and removed about 26,600 m3 of timber.

Our contractor processed and chipped the timber onsite to make mulch. They then transported the mulch offsite to be used in vegetation works across the region. Timber processing resulted in 85% of the waste being recycled. The remaining 15% was sent to landfill.

Stage two

In November 2019, we removed 7,600 m3 (approximately 13,000 tonnes) of contaminated soil. Contaminants included:

  • metals
  • plastics
  • asbestos.

We carefully planned and monitored the operation to remove the soil. It took about four weeks to complete. A licensed asbestos removalist worked under strict WorkSafe controls. The removalist wrapped the soil in industrial-grade plastic and transported it in covered trucks to a licensed landfill in Melbourne. An independent, expert occupational hygienist monitored for asbestos fibres in the air during the removal works. 

The occupational hygienist has provided an asbestos clearance for the land that was used to store the soil. The soil removal works are now complete. By removing the contaminated soil, we have removed a potential source of dust.

Asbestos Victoria has more information about asbestos safety.

Stage three

EPA awarded the tender for stage three to demolition and decommissioning services contractor Ausdecom. This procurement process focused significantly on ensuring opportunities for local industry and workers through the Local Jobs First - Victorian Industry Participation Policy.

As principal contractor for stage three works, Ausdecom (the contractor) has been removing the remaining approximately 250,000 m3 of waste onsite. The waste was spread across four main stockpiles.

We started stage three in June 2020.

We have now removed more than 120,000 m3 of waste from the site. There is one stockpile of about 194,000 m3 of waste remaining onsite. To date, we have removed approximately 28,000m3 from this remaining stockpile.

Sampling of the stockpile has shown a mix of construction and demolition waste, which is contaminated with small pieces of non-fiable asbestos.

We originally expected to recycle up to half of the waste in the stockpile. However, due to the asbestos contamination, our contractor will transport most of the waste offsite to appropriately licensed landfills.

This will eliminate the hazard onsite and reduce the risk to human health and the environment.

A qualified asbestos removalist will follow strict WorkSafe controls to remove all of the asbestos material onsite.

There are controls in place to reduce impacts form the site, including:

  • high volume water and fog cannons, to wet the pile down
  • exclusion zones set up for all works
  • personal protective equipment  for all employees
  • air quality monitoring along all fence boundaries
  • additional monitoring at exclusion zones and within the work area, monitored by an independent occupational hygienist
  • truck washing including a wheel-wash system for vehicles leaving the site.

In addition to these controls, the waste is:

  • removed from the site in EPA permitted trucks, in line with WorkSafe controls
  • transported to landfills licensed to accept asbestos-contaminated material
  • tracked to its destination by EPA.

We have security monitoring at the site 24/7 with CCTV and thermal image cameras. Works are continually assessed and managed onsite to control any potential dust being produced during the works.

We're working with the contractor to make sure that they work safely and with minimal impact to the local community, businesses and environment.

Our cost recovery action for Broderick Road

Together with the State, we have been successful in a Supreme Court case involving the Broderick Rd site.

The Supreme Court win has confirmed the liquidators of The Australian Sawmilling Company Pty Ltd (TASCO), Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), are the occupiers of the land owned by TASCO at Broderick Rd, Lara, and may be pursued for recovery of the clean up costs for the site.

The amount of those costs will be known when the  clean up works are completed. Given the limitation placed by the court on the extent of recovery against the liquidators, it may mean that not all of those clean up costs will be recovered.

We’re pleased by the outcome, which confirms the liquidators are occupiers of the land and that they may be pursued for recovery of the clean up costs.

We’ll continue to use our powers to work to recover clean up costs by pursing the site’s:

  • former occupiers
  • former owners
  • company directors
  • any other relevant parties.

Contractors

We’re managing all procurement relating to the cleanup project. We acknowledge that there is a lot of interest in assisting with the cleanup. We will be making decisions in line with government procurement practices.

EPA will not be employing Individuals directly. Contractor companies successful in the tendering process will be responsible for employing their own staff.

Contact us about Broderick Road

For more information about what’s happening at Broderick Road:

  • email us at BroderickRd@epa.vic.gov.au
  • call us on 1300 372 842. We’re here 24 hours.

Read more about the Broderick Road cleanup

Cleaning up waste stockpiled at Broderick Road

How we’re monitoring the environment at Broderick Road

Reviewed 28 April 2021