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Letter to the editor – “the vicious cycle continues until I finally give up”


Dear Editor,

I have tried and tried to contact the EPA in relation to the state of the Pawan Creek adjacent to the Maddingly Brown Coal Pty Ltd.
Clearly the EPAs system for contact via the 1300 372 842 is designed to make it near impossible to have any person from the public interact with the EPA.
My experience so far is I place a call, I sit on hold for 15 to 20 minutes and then some person states that the person I need to talk to is not available. I leave a number, when they call back, I’m not always available and they leave a message saying call the 1300 number. I then have to go through the whole process again via the 1300 number. Another 20 minutes doing the EPAs job. And so, the vicious circle continues until I finally give up. Not going to happen.
Customer service would suggest that a direct number could be provided when leaving a message for me to call back or better still, how about they try again. Rather than just ticking the box and filling their obligations to call back.
How about they try to make contact several times. Now that’s a novel idea…… I’m not their servant. They are employed by the people to ensure that they do what is needed to protect us and the environment. If we are bringing to their attention an issue, then they need to use reasonable efforts to hear our concerns. Not install roadblocks to make it impossible to communicate.
What is really concerning is when the issue is so obvious that they could have prevented the whole process if they had done their jobs correctly in the first place.
My initial complaint/information is simple. The Pawan Creek beside the Maddingley Brown Coal site is littered with rubbish.
That rubbish is clearly coming from the Maddingley Brown Coal site. Maddingley Brown Coal Pty Ltd has a licence to receive rubbish which has escaped the site.
The job of the EPA is to ensure compliance with their (MBC) licence to receive rubbish. As per the attached photos, a reasonable person could contend that this process is not being policed by the agency that issued the permit.
That contamination is then going into the food bowl of Melbourne, via the creek and river systems that irrigates our vegetables. The Pawan Creek empties into the Werribee river system which in turn is used to irrigate our farms.
I also understand that this Maddingley Brown Coal facility is looking to take the waste spoil from the tunnel project. If they cannot keep a creek such as the Pawan Creek clear of their litter waste, what hope have we got to ensure that the waste spoil will be treated correctly to the licence conditions?
I ask the EPA that they immediately take action to have the Pawan Creek cleaned of ALL waste from this site as per their permit to operate.

Darren Love
Hopetoun Park