Esperance councillor proposes tip site spending suspension

Dyeing for results: Tracer testing to determine the groundwater transport parameters at the proposed waste facility site started in July. Photo: Shire of Esperance.
Dyeing for results: Tracer testing to determine the groundwater transport parameters at the proposed waste facility site started in July. Photo: Shire of Esperance.

A Shire of Esperance councillor is pushing for testing of the environmental suitability of the proposed Merival Tip site to be suspended.

Cr Dale Piercey has proposed ceasing all work on the land at 12 Kirwan Road until councillors are fully briefed on the matter.

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Cr Piercey told The Express some works had already been paid for, so she would re-word her motion to stop 'expenditure'.

Council is set to vote on the motion at its December 17 meeting.

Cr Piercey said shire staff would brief councillors on the issue the week prior to a February meeting, but she didn't think there would be enough time to go over the detail.

"It's been going on for a long time, there's a lot of correspondence, a lot of reports and they're quite large and complex reports," she said.

"I feel that we need far more time than just a week to go through it and I don't think we'll be given enough information in the briefing session prior to that meeting to make a properly informed decision anyway."

Cr Piercey said her motion also sought to stop spending money on the site.

"Every month we are just spending money and the people of this town are fed up," she said.

"They just don't want to see any more money spent out there and it's time we did something about it."

The shire is currently working towards completing an endorsed 'scoping document' to meet the requirements of the EPA's Public Environmental Review.

Cr Piercey said she 'could not see' the site receiving EPA approval as it was in the wrong area.

"There is still money to be spent. Why take all this time and aggravate people, why not just stop? My personal belief is that it should never have gone ahead in the first place," she said.

"Nothing in the tests has ever shown us that it's a great spot because we've got to do a lot of protective work in case there's a leakage. With all the protections in the world a leak can still happen."

Cr Piercey said she hadn't attempted to stop expenditure under the previous council as she believed there was no hope of success.

So far, surveys done as part of an environmental review of the proposed site have found no evidence it is in a karst environment.