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Dear Editor,

The prospect of an amendment to allow household waste at Calleja’s tip (Maddingley Brown Coal) is very real and maybe beyond even Councils control .
In the early 1990s when a company I managed purchased the assets of Amcor in South Maddingley, a large part of the holdings was zoned “Reserved Residential”.
The gently sloping land to be used for housing, within walking distance to the train station, existing high school, the local light industry area and northerly views over the valley.
At a chance meeting with an employee of our business one evening I learned that the local start-up Grammar school was struggling. His children attended the school and he said it would be sad to see it fold. Shortly after I met with the schools founder Graeme Blyth.
I suggested there was a far better site in Maddingley for the school. It had some buildings on it (one of which was an early chaff mill) which could be refurbished for the schools use.
The site was half as big again as the Halletts Way site and with its outlook over the valley, proximity to Maddingley Park, local swimming pool and train station it made good sense.
The site had an atmosphere about it that suited a school and would be a great focal point for the planned residential development around it.
Then our company made a REGRETTABLE decision and sold the Cummings road part of the Amcor holdings to Calleja.
Access to the mine was the via East Maddingley road. I insisted before selling the land that we build the present entry to keep trucks away from Maddingley as much as possible.
Shortly after the school was relocated and reopened with a much greater enrolment.
I received a phone call from the then shire engineer Mr Dennis Murphy one morning which was a shock.
He informed me that Mr David White a Minister in the then Labor government had UNILATERALLY by ministerial decree, rezoned all the reserved residential land and virtually the southern half of Bacchus Marsh, to RESERVED MINING. The then council was powerless to do anything about it.
With the stroke of a pen he ruined the sensible orderly development of this town and insulated the Calleja tipping operation from any further objections to its business.
In 1957 the then manager of the coal mine planned to reform the worked out area and turn it into a water feature for local residents and future homes built in the area to enjoy.
So, what have we got now?
Don’t be surprised if some Moorabool Councillors may support this
household rubbish dumping amendment, and don’t be fooled that a politician won’t rubber stamp it like they have before.
It might be a fair call for Moorabool council to consider this matter at say Maddingley Park so most of the population can attend to hear Councillors views.
It will be a sad end of this town as we know it should this be approved.
The air, water and groundwater consequences of this proposal are frightening.

Bill Wilson