Mangrove Mountain residents are furious over a new DA for Mangrove Mountain Landfill, which was lodged by Verde Terra with Central Coast Council just days before Christmas, 2018.
Mountain Districts Association (MDA) spokesperson, Dr Stephen Goodwin, said the new DA for the controversial landfill site, which is now on public exhibition, would be vigorously opposed by the community.
“It appears to us that the wording of the DA fails to acknowledge its undeniable responsibility as a Designated Development, and in using language like ‘only minor changes are proposed to certain aspects’, it tries to downplay the nature of the development in an environmentally sensitive area,” Goodwin said.
“MDA is urging all community members concerned about the future of their drinking water, and of our rural groundwater, to make a submission to Central Coast Council opposing the DA.
“This is a critical moment.
“If Verde Terra is unsuccessful with its DA, then it won’t have a valid development consent necessary to support its application for the renewal of its environment protection licence.
“That would place the operators of this landfill in a difficult position.
“After years of community pressure and ignoring advice from Central Coast Council that the existing development consent did not cover the present and proposed scale of landfilling operations, and that a modification of the development consent would be required before the landfill operation could resume, Verde Terra has finally bitten the bullet.
“Council has advised Verde Terra that in its opinion, the proposal is a Designated Development under the Environment Planning & Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act).
“Consequently, Council has requested an environmental impact statement (EIS) from the applicant.
“MDA agrees with Council in its classification of the proposal as Designated Development, because it involves a waste management facility that is located within a drinking water catchment as defined in Schedule 3 of Designated Development in the EP&A Act.”
Goodwin said if Verde Terra chose to ignore the request for an EIS, the matter will almost certainly end up in the Land and Environment Court (LEC).
“Verde Terra is already in the LEC in a dispute with the EPA and Central Coast Council over the environment protection licence for Mangrove Mountain Landfill, and this new matter could mean that there may be two proceedings concerning Mangrove Mountain Landfill in the LEC in coming months,” he said.
“Central Coast Council applied to the LEC to join the first case as a party, on the grounds that the proposed expansion could represent an unacceptable risk to the Central Coast’s and possibly also the Hunter Region’s water supplies, and this was granted.
“The Mountain Districts community supports Central Coast Council’s involvement in the LEC proceeding.
“This landfill threatens our groundwater aquifer and the Central Coast’s drinking water.
“MDA also supports Council’s requirement for a new EIS.”
The deadline for submissions to Central Coast Council is close of business on March 14.
Attempts to contact Verde Terra for comment were unsuccessful.
Media release, Feb 25
Stephen Goodwin, Mountains District Association