Mr MELHEM (Western Metropolitan): I rise to speak on the release of my public consultation report regarding waste-to-energy technology in Melbourne’s west, which was commissioned by the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Lily D’Ambrosio. Victoria has a serious waste storage problem, with around one-third of Victoria’s waste ending up in landfill. My local community has made it clear to me that we must start looking at alternatives to landfill to avoid this unsustainable build-up. This recent report shows broad support for the concept of a waste-to-energy plant being established in Melbourne’s west.

These findings came from two community consultations held in my electorate of Western Metropolitan Region late last year. There was also input from local government and industry stakeholders. The report highlights the desire for a shared burden of waste management. The recent approval of new landfill airspace for the Melbourne Regional Landfill Ravenhall site has caused communities in my electorate to believe too much responsibility is being levelled on the western suburbs.

Waste to energy presents an exciting alternative. While the technology associated is still slightly underdeveloped, the benefits around environmental sustainability and renewable energy creation make it worth pursuing. This could go a long way to alleviating the livability concerns of the expanding suburban areas around Melbourne, especially in the west.

I commend Minister D’Ambrosio for her effort in this space, and I am looking forward to the response to my report and also the discussion paper which she launched last year. I am looking forward to the outcome of that discussion paper and the policy going forward to make sure landfall in Victoria will be a thing of the past.

7 March 2018