I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for State/Local Government Relations questions about developments near dump sites.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: Honourable members would no doubt be aware of the Cranbourne Estate development in Melbourne where local residents have been forced to flee their homes due to dangerous methane gas levels affecting people in their homes. There have been calls for the federal government to take over responsibility for landfill sites, including a call from the President of the Municipal Association of Victoria, Mr Dick Gross, who says that a national approach is needed. My questions are:
1. Has the state—
The Hon. T.J. Stephens interjecting:
The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Mr Stephens will come to order.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: —government done an audit of potential sites in South Australia?
2. Is the minister confident in the ability of local government to ensure that such incidents do not take place in South Australia?
3. Has she had any discussions with her federal colleagues about the federal government taking over this responsibility?
The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for State/Local Government Relations, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Government Enterprises, Minister Assisting the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Energy) (14:36): I think the honourable member has forgotten that I am no longer minister for the environment because, in fact—
The Hon. G.E. GAGO: Yes, they take a little while to catch on but, nevertheless, I will indulge her in terms of helping to bring her up to date. The EPA sets all the standards for landfill and does all the negotiations with local government, private sectors or whoever is involved in the development, maintenance and ongoing development of landfill sites. I am happy to refer those questions to the appropriate minister in another place and bring back a response.
Thursday 5 March 2009
In reply to the Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (24 September 2008).
The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for State/Local Government Relations, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Government Enterprises, Minister Assisting the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Energy): The Minister for Environment and Conservation has provided the following information:
An assessment on the risk posed by landfill gas (LFG) to residential areas is currently being undertaken for all EPA known closed landfills located in South Australia.
The EPA is actively engaged with the relevant local councils in managing closed landfill sites where landfill gas has been identified as a potential issue.
Landfill gas management is one of a number of environmental risks that is required to be managed under South Australia's Environment Protection Act 1993 and the Development Act 1993. Operational issues of this nature are a responsibility of State Authorities.