The methane gas leaking into the Brookland Greens Estate at Cranbourne from the former landfill site next door is a disaster caused by incompetent planning decisions.
it seems that the lanfill site was created without a protective membrane to guard against just such an event and very probably was why Council wanted a 500 metre setback from the site. Also the site was given an EPA permit which raises futher questions.
But the worst decision was that even though both Council and EPA quite properly objected, VCAT over-ruled them and issued a permit to the developer PEET to build within only 200 metres and it is within this area that the main leakages have been detected.
We seriously question VCAT's role in this disaster and wonder on whose advice they relied to make such an incompetent decision?
Both Council and the EPA were very conscious of the dangers and we feel sure they would have made their concerns clear in their submissions to VCAT, and yet VCAT has obviously ignored their advice not to allow building within the 500 metre set back zone. WHY?
VCAT is a government appointed and funded institution which has allowed this disaster to occur. It should be noted that the Brumby government has been using VCAT to force through developments which councils all over Melbourne have been against.
VCAT has set itself up as a planning authority without the infrastructure, expertise, local knowledge and background that councils have and it is unelected and unaccoutable. It has now proved it is incompetent.
Premier Brumby must accept full resonsibilty for this disaster and ensure that the problem is rectified. He must also ensure that the residents are not further dis-advantaged by his government authority's inexcusable decision.