Central Coast Council issued a statement following the 4 Corners program which said that it was aware that the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) was investigating issues arising from the use of a site at Spencer for illegal dumping.
The 4 Corners program alleged, based on transcripts of phone calls intercepted by ICAC, that a privately-owned property next to the Hawkesbury River at Spencer, had been used by Gosford Council for 20 years for illegal dumping.
“Council is also investigating other aspects of the use of the site,” the Council statement said.
“Council will not interfere with the EPA’s investigation or any other investigations by making public comment.
“The former Gosford Council commenced proceedings regarding the Mangrove Mountain site in the Land and Environment Court regarding alleged breaches of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
“The Land and Environment Court proceedings were resolved by the Court, making orders, which are a matter of public record.
“The future use of the Mangrove Mountain site, and the time frame for such use, is a matter for the owner of the site.
“However any use will need to comply with relevant laws, and Council will, where it is the relevant authority under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act for that future use, deal with applications it receives from the site owner.
“Once that future use is the subject of a relevant consent under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, the owner may seek the issue of an environment protection licence under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act from the NSW EPA.
“The EPA’s website contains a register of the licences it has issued, including those that relate to the Mangrove Mountain site.
“Council is aware of environmental testing undertaken in and around the Mangrove Mountain site, and based on that testing, understands that risks associated with the landfill are being managed so as to ensure the nearby waterways are not affected.
“It is not appropriate for Council to comment on the employment of, or the circumstances of termination by the former Gosford City Council, of Mr Chestnut.
“Council confirms that neither Mr Chestnut, nor any former staff of the former Gosford Council, or of this Council, that may have been interviewed by 4 Corners, are spokespersons for Central Coast Council.
“Domestic waste collected from residents’ red lid bins is disposed of in Council’s Buttonderry Waste Management Facility and Woy Woy landfill, with environmental management at the forefront.
“This arrangement will continue when the new contractor, Cleanaway, takes over waste services on February 1, 2018.
“Council’s current contractor, Remondis, uses a sub-contractor, PAR, at Somersby, to do glass recycling.
“Glass collected from yellow recycling bins is crushed, washed and used as a sand alternative for civil construction works here on the Central Coast and in the Hunter.”
Media statement, Aug 11
Central Coast Council media