The 2009 State Budget has granted one million dollars to the City of Kingston to develop a much needed management plan for its Green Wedge areas which are plagued by tip sites and soil mounds.

The funding was prompted following a State Government Advisory committee review of a planning permit application for a concrete crusher facility at Clarinda, which several local residents including Greek-Australians, opposed.

With the concrete crusher already on Kingston Road, awaiting the go-ahead, the operation  was approved by the State Government this month.  Mayor Athanasopoulos says that the grant will be used to improve the surrounding land fill sites.

Cr Athanasopoulos had said prior to the announcement that he had, “grave concerns for the environment because a large chunk of the non urban area in Kingston is tip site and the stock piles are up to a height similar to a 4-5 story building,” referring to the landfill site next to the Alex Fraser facility.

The sites is used by Trans Pacific Industry (TPI) to stockpile huge amounts of earth landfill stock pilling, the size of two football grounds.

The company has a permit but the way they are filling it is causing grief to residents, according to the Mayor.

“When the wind comes, it blows soil over their properties,” he explained. “We are in the process of taking them to court but when it comes to taking action against operators, fines applicable are nowhere near the benefit they gain when they don’t adhere to permit conditions.

“I am hoping that the grant will assist us to take action against TPI to remove the mounds and once their mounds get down to ground level, enforce permits that requires them to rehabilitate the land.

“By using the funds to rezone the land, I am hoping to give land fill companies such as TPI an incentive to fill using engineer fill or to use the land for alternative appropriate uses.”

Cr Athanasopoulos also plans to use the grant to:

  • Minimise aesthetic, dust and noise issues while holes are being filled.
  • Rezone land with the possibility of residential development in the northern non-urban area.
  • Continue implementing the Chain of Parks program. This includes implementing a walkway to link from the Clarinda community to the Heartherton community through Barkers road.
  • Establish a task force to lobby the State Government for further funds in the next budget so that the council can start implementing initiatives as soon as possible.

Cr Athanasopoulos said that, “Council is well along in its work on plans to transform the 615ha. of land in Kingston’s northern non-urban area into something that we and future generations can all live with and be proud of.”