Gisborne Building Site Handed Over 50 EPA Infringements

May 3, 2024 9:24 am in by
Credit: Gold Central Victoria

A local council is ‘less-than-impressed’ after over 50 infringements were handed to a Gisborne building site by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA found the local industry was not meeting its responsibilities during two unannounced inspections. Inspections at the Willow Estate and Cathlaw Estate checked that builders, developers, and construction workers were meeting their safety, environmental, and building compliance obligations.

While the inspections were unannounced, EPA and the Council had separately written to more than 50 companies working on the Estates, reminding them of their responsibilities under the Environment Protection Act 2017 and the Community Local Law 2023.

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Macedon Ranges Council officers issued 52 infringements for breaches of the Community Local Law 2023 related to building sites with lack of – or non-compliant – building site signage, incorrect management of building waste onsite, lack of toilet facilities, unsecure site fencing, skip bins on Council land without a permit, and general rubbish on Council land. 

EPA Northwest Regional Manager, Paul Ratajczyk, says the warnings were about sediment being discharged from sites, paint-contaminated water entering the stormwater system, plaster, brick dust or cement washing into drains and creeks – careless breaches, easily fixed but they should never have happened.

“The regulatory notices dealt with actions such as clean-up of waste, building waste and concrete scraps that were dumped on an empty block.”

Local Police also issued three parking fines and referred seven unsafe sites to WorkSafe Victoria for further investigation.

Macedon Ranges Shire Council Director Planning and Environment Director, Rebecca Stockfeld, says Council wants to ensure that all building sites across the Macedon Ranges are doing the right thing, for their own benefit and for the environment around them.

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“Officers reported disappointment in the non-compliant state of many of the building sites recently inspected – this is simply not good enough, particularly given the warning of inspections ahead of time,” Stockfeld says.

“We encourage members of the public to support us in our monitoring by reporting any alleged breaches directly to Council for further investigation.”

Members of the public can report pollution by calling EPA’s 24-hour hotline on 1300 372 842 or providing details online via the EPA website.