MEMBERS STATEMENT | LATROBE VALLEY WASTE-TO-ENERGY FACILITY
Mr Melhem (Western Metropolitan): Last week I attended a presentation by Australian Paper (APM) to announce the outcome of a feasibility study which was funded by the state government and the federal government—$7.5 million to explore the opportunity to open a waste-to-energy plant in the Latrobe Valley to provide APM with its energy needs, whether that is gas or electricity. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate APM and the state and federal governments for investing in a feasibility study for waste to energy. In my understanding, their plan is ready to go. It will take about 650 000 tonnes of waste from municipal waste in Victoria, particularly the south-eastern suburbs. Now people may say, ‘Why would I be interested in the south-east?’. It is very simple: the landfill in Hampton Park is due to close in 2025. Currently it takes about 550 000 tonnes of waste, and I know where that waste is going to end up. It is going to end up in Ravenhall in my electorate, and that is something I do not want to see happen. So I am pleased that APM SUEZ is looking at starting construction shortly; they have received all the approvals, subject to some VCAT matter. I want to congratulate Australian Paper SUEZ for actually leading and making sure no more waste ends up in landfill and we actually convert that to energy and make use of it.