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Tuggeranong stench FOI request denied

By David Tuckwell - 15 March 2017 7

Bad Smell Disgusts Man

ARTICLE UPDATED WITH A RESPONSE FROM ACCESS CANBERRA, BELOW

Ever been through western Tuggeranong? Your nose might remember.

Pressure is mounting on the ACT government over the sewer-like stench that twists through parts of Tuggeranong after a Freedom of Information request into causes and mitigation strategies was denied.

The stench, ongoing for years, has irritated residents to the point that political weight has been brought to bear.

“I have questioned the government on the issue for more than three years and they still have not come clean as to where the stench is coming from. Now, four months after I submitted an FOI request to get to the bottom of the matter it has been refused,” said Deputy Leader of the Opposition Nicole Lawder.

“Residents in my electorate are not happy that the government is not prioritising the matter. I have been trying to get answers through my FOI request and now it appears they are blocking that avenue too.”

It has been suggested that the Mugga Lane tip is causing the smell. A source close to the centre said that they “strongly doubted” the stench was coming the centre given its distance from the suburbs. Another possible culprit is sewage.

 

****

UPDATE (14:10, 16/3/2017):

We have received a statement from Access Canberra in response to this. Deputy opposition leader Ms Lawder says that the FOI request has been denied. By contrast Access Canberra, of whom the request was made, says that they have not rejected the request, only indicated that they will reject it unless the request is substantively altered.

Below is the full statement from Access Canberra.
****

It is important to note that the Freedom of Information request has not been denied.

Access Canberra has indicated that it may be refused if the scope of the request is not narrowed. This is due to the significant scope of Ms Lawder’s request, the time it would take to process and the resources which would be required to be diverted by the operational agency to respond.

Access Canberra has offered to work cooperatively with Ms Lawder on the narrowing of the scope to support her in receiving the information she may be seeking in a more effective and efficient way.

Yesterday (14 March 2017) Access Canberra had a conversation with Ms Lawder and there was agreement to collectively work together to narrow the scope. Following this discussion a meeting has been organised with Ms Lawder to discuss an approach that does not unreasonably divert the resources of the agency and provides her with the details she may seek.

At anytime Ms Lawder can seek, through the Legislative Assembly or responsible Minister, a briefing on this issue.

Access Canberra has received about 100 complaints in total about a periodic odour in the Tuggeranong area since November 2015 and it has been followed up as a priority.

The frequency of complaints has reduced significantly recently with only 14 complaints received between 19 July 2016 and 7 March 2017.

The Mugga Lane landfill and other potential sources of odour at the Mugga Lane Resource Management Centre have been investigated by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). To date, no definitive source of the odour has been identified. While there is no definitive technical test for odour the EPA continues to work with the landfill operators and local residents on this issue.

To further support reduction in concerns the EPA has requested the waste be covered with soil at the end of each operational day at the landfill site by operators. Significant remedial works have also been undertaken around additional capping at the site.

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) within Access Canberra has engaged with the affected residents in an effort to identify the source of the odour and to obtain more information about the nature and frequency of the odour but has noted a significant reduction in concerns raised.

**** Ends****

What’s Your opinion?


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7 Responses to
Tuggeranong stench FOI request denied
1
MERC600 5:37 pm
15 Mar 17
#

I was recently in the north side trying to locate Crace, so I threw a lefty off some main road and went down a smaller road when I got a whiff of what I usually only get near the Mugga tip. Found I was driving behind their local green gardening recycling joint where there was a pile of the forest litter as they call it.

Now the pile was only smallish, as was the whiff, but at Mugga the forrest litter pile looks like a small mountain range. So perhaps the combined landfill and the forest litter cause the trouble.

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2
rommeldog56 7:26 pm
15 Mar 17
#

As a periodically smell affected resident, I applaud Ms Lawders attempts to find the answer. In fact, a real estate agent has told me that it would be almost impossible to sell my property, if that smell is detected by buyers !

There are 4 or 5 pre set grounds/reasons to deny a request under FOI. I wonder which one the ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t used ??

If its true that the ACT Labor/Greens Govt can not find the source of the smell (as has been previously reported) and the Mugga Lane tip denies that it is coming from there, then why not release those investigations and reports under FOI ?? ACT Labor/Greens wouldn’t be covering it up would they ? Nah – of course not.

So where are the erstwhile ACT Labor MLAs for Tuggeranong, Gentleman and Burch, in this ? their silence over the past 5 years on this matter has been deafening. That’s effective representation for u. But then again, they were (somewhat surprisingly) re elected by ning nong voters in Brindabella I suppose, so its hardly surprising really.

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3
bruce_lord 8:27 pm
15 Mar 17
#

I wrote on here around Xmas that I definitely smelt it when visiting friends at McCarthur. Pretty crazy that Government is hiding background information on the smell.

It all sounds a bit dodgy and maybe the only smell isn’t coming from the tip but from the Government as well.

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4
CBRDave 6:10 am
17 Mar 17
#

Four months is a long time to wait for a response to an FOI request. I have also found that some ACT Government agencies are tardy in fulfilling their obligations under the FOI legislation.

The worst to date has been Mr Rattenbury’s agency, the ACT Environment and Planning Directorate (ACTEPD). I am now waiting for more than three months for a response to a fairly basic FOI request to this agency with no indication on when I can expect to get the response. I have also found that this agency does not even bother to acknowledge an FOI request.

The ACTEPD needs to lift its game on the processing of FOI requests and meet its obligations under the legislation. There is also a need for the responsible Minister to engage in less talk and rhetoric on FOI and more action to ensure that his agency is complying with the legislation and treating FOI applicants in a professional and courteous manner.

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5
searcher3489 12:40 pm
20 Mar 17
#

MERC600 said :

I was recently in the north side trying to locate Crace, so I threw a lefty off some main road and went down a smaller road when I got a whiff of what I usually only get near the Mugga tip. Found I was driving behind their local green gardening recycling joint where there was a pile of the forest litter as they call it.

Now the pile was only smallish, as was the whiff, but at Mugga the forest litter pile looks like a small mountain range. So perhaps the combined landfill and the forest litter cause the trouble.

MERC600 you were passing by the Canberra Sand & Gravel, they make manure there and sometimes when they process it there is a whiff but it doesn’t last long. This is a private company that is not associated with the ACT Government, also the Mitchell Resource Management Centre (The Mitchell Tip) transfers most of it’s waste to the Mugga Lane tip for disposal, only recyclable material such as cardboard, glass, eWaste (computers, monitors etc) are actually kept on-site for long periods of time.

Just a side note, If you were traveling that way to get to Crace you really need to update your GPS, it’s not that hard to find…just go down Barton Hwy and turn right at the new inter-bout and Crace is right there on your right…

Report this comment

6
dungfungus 5:06 pm
20 Mar 17
#

searcher3489 said :

MERC600 said :

I was recently in the north side trying to locate Crace, so I threw a lefty off some main road and went down a smaller road when I got a whiff of what I usually only get near the Mugga tip. Found I was driving behind their local green gardening recycling joint where there was a pile of the forest litter as they call it.

Now the pile was only smallish, as was the whiff, but at Mugga the forest litter pile looks like a small mountain range. So perhaps the combined landfill and the forest litter cause the trouble.

MERC600 you were passing by the Canberra Sand & Gravel, they make manure there and sometimes when they process it there is a whiff but it doesn’t last long. This is a private company that is not associated with the ACT Government, also the Mitchell Resource Management Centre (The Mitchell Tip) transfers most of it’s waste to the Mugga Lane tip for disposal, only recyclable material such as cardboard, glass, eWaste (computers, monitors etc) are actually kept on-site for long periods of time.

Just a side note, If you were traveling that way to get to Crace you really need to update your GPS, it’s not that hard to find…just go down Barton Hwy and turn right at the new inter-bout and Crace is right there on your right…

“They make manure there…..”?

Please tell me how.

Report this comment

7
JC 12:33 am
21 Mar 17
#

dungfungus said :

searcher3489 said :

MERC600 said :

I was recently in the north side trying to locate Crace, so I threw a lefty off some main road and went down a smaller road when I got a whiff of what I usually only get near the Mugga tip. Found I was driving behind their local green gardening recycling joint where there was a pile of the forest litter as they call it.

Now the pile was only smallish, as was the whiff, but at Mugga the forest litter pile looks like a small mountain range. So perhaps the combined landfill and the forest litter cause the trouble.

MERC600 you were passing by the Canberra Sand & Gravel, they make manure there and sometimes when they process it there is a whiff but it doesn’t last long. This is a private company that is not associated with the ACT Government, also the Mitchell Resource Management Centre (The Mitchell Tip) transfers most of it’s waste to the Mugga Lane tip for disposal, only recyclable material such as cardboard, glass, eWaste (computers, monitors etc) are actually kept on-site for long periods of time.

Just a side note, If you were traveling that way to get to Crace you really need to update your GPS, it’s not that hard to find…just go down Barton Hwy and turn right at the new inter-bout and Crace is right there on your right…

“They make manure there…..”?

Please tell me how.

Robotic cows. Don’t beleive me google it.

And by gee what comes out of them stink to high heaven. Case solved.

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