Then premier Colin Barnett faces residents in York during another protest held in 2013, more than a decade ago.

Opposition continues against York landfill

Previously the state government has said land use planning as well as social and economic impacts will be considered before a final decision is made.
April 11, 2024
Peter W Lewis

ALMOST a year after the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) completed its report in May 2023 a determination on whether the York landfill project can proceed is yet to be made.
While the EPA has granted conditional approval for the landfill, the decision has been appealed by 133 appellants, including the Shire of York, and is still under review by an appeals committee.
Shire of York chief executive officer Chris Linnell said the landfill proposal continued to spark strong opposition from the shire and community members.
“We have raised concerns about the safety of the Great Southern Highway, the increase in traffic, and the potential impact on York’s identity as a tourism town.
Currently, appeals against the ruling in favour of the landfill, as outlined in the Environmental Protection Agency Report 1738 published on 22 May 2023, are being heard by the appeals committee.
“The shire has safety concerns about the ability of the Great Southern Highway to handle the increased traffic from trucks transporting material to the landfill. The increase in restricted access vehicles (RAV) traffic would have a negative impact on the well-being and social fabric of York, particularly as it is known for its tourism,” Mr Linnell said.
Another concern is that the proposed Allawuna Farm site is an Aboriginal heritage site with a significant watercourse and an acknowledgement of the site as an Aboriginal Heritage Place has been lodged with the Department, Lands and Heritage (DPLH).
“The site also has historical significance as part of the pre-convict era road from Guildford to York runs alongside Allawuna Farm’s northern boundary. Mapped in 1847, it was crucial for settling York in 1831. This track, unexplored archaeologically, likely contains evidence of the state’s earliest European settlement history,” Mr Linnell said.
“The social wellbeing of our community is paramount. The Great Southern Highway is not equipped to handle the increased large vehicle traffic, and the impact on WA’s first inland town and its continued growth as a tourism destination, will be adversely affected,” Mr Linnell said.
As reported in the special report United opposition to York landfill proposal (Echo News, Juy 12, 2023) the EPA recommended environmental approval for a landfill proposal at Allawuna Farm, adjacent to Perth’s water catchment.
Concerns have been raised that leachate could seep out of the landfill causing contamination of surface and groundwater, and while the EPA has acknowledged the potential for contamination they said the landfill’s design was consistent with industry practice and was suitable for the proposed location.
At the time a state government spokesperson said at the conclusion of the appeals process, consultation with relevant ministers, including the Planning Minister and the Water Minister, would occurr.
“Land use planning as well as social and economic impacts will be considered before a final decision is made,’’ they said.
Shire of York and the Avon Valley Residents Association have both urged anyone concerned about the environmental impacts to urgently contact the Environment Minister Reece Whitby.

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