By XAVIER SMERDON
THE war of words between a group of Wyndham residents and the Wyndham Council continues to escalate, with residents accusing the council of circulating a “misleading” letter.
Members of the Western Region Environment Centre (WREC) are fighting the council over the height of Wyndham’s rubbish tip.
On Monday 23 December last year they presented the council with a petition signed by over 2000 people opposing the above-ground construction of the tip.
Last week the WREC accused the council of making false claims in its written response to the petitioners.
Harry van Moorst from the WREC said the council had falsely claimed that the tip had been above ground for most of its existence, that the landfill is one of only four in Melbourne and that environmental issues were considered in detail as part of the applications to increase the height of the tip.
“This response to the petitioners is rather insulting in its dishonest and misleading claims as well as failing to respond to the actual issues raised by the petition,” Mr van Moorst said.
But Wyndham Council CEO, Kerry Thompson, said there were concerns about the legitimacy of the petition.
“The purpose of the letter to petition signatories was to communicate directly with those who are concerned about the Wests Rd Refuse Disposal Facility,” Ms Thompson said.
“Since making contact with signatories to the petition, it was concerning that someone took the time to call council and deny having signed the petition.
“In his capacity as a representative of WREC, Harry van Moorst has been appointed a member of the RDF Community Advisory Group. The role of this group is to provide feedback regarding the operation of the RDF and we are happy to address Mr. van Moorst’s difference of opinion in that forum.
“One issue that can be discussed for example is the denial that the RDF has operated as an above ground facility for most of its existence. Council has documentation demonstrating this that we are happy to provide to the Reference Group.”
Ms Thompson said the matter was before VCAT and concerns around issues like odour should be directed to the Environmental Protection Agency.