By Derek Schlennstedt
A further seven drums have been pulled from the side of Mount Dandenong Tourist Road following a dumping of nine drums last Wednesday.
Belgrave Acting Sergeant Angelo Stylianou said that CFA crews and police attended the dumping site on 7 October but he could not confirm whether the two were related.
“Last night a further seven barrels were located further up the road from the others.”
“There were four which were completely empty and three contained a liquid substance.”
It took CFA crews approximately three hours to remove the drums and ongoing investigations are underway.
Act Sgt Stylianou said that the drums were the same size and colour as the other ones that were located a week before.
Nineteen emergency crews attended a hazmat dumping on the side of Mount Dandenong Tourist Road on 2 October.
According to the EPA, the illegal dumping of contaminated fill material, tyres, manufacturing, construction and demolition waste is an indictable offence, and can attract a maximum court penalty of $610,700 or seven years imprisonment for an individual, and more than $1.2 million for a corporation.
Parks Victoria District Manager for the Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Ranges Victoria Purdue said that on the morning of 2 October, Parks Victoria was alerted to a number of chemical drums that had been dumped within Dandenong Ranges National Park.
“The contents of the drums was unknown so the CFA hazmat team treated it as hazardous waste, with Parks Victoria engaging a licenced contractor to contain and remove them the same day,” she said.
“The contents of the drums will be tested to ensure they are disposed of in accordance with all waste management legislative requirements.”
She said that luckily there has not been any negative impact on the natural environment and that dumpers can face serious fines if caught.
“Illegal dumping of rubbish is an environmental crime. As well as being unsightly and potentially dangerous for visitors, dumped rubbish also causes serious pollution and environmental harm and is extremely costly and time consuming for Parks Victoria to remove.”
“Parks Victoria is disappointed that this has occurred and is committed to preserving Victoria’s special places, providing world-class visitor experience and looking after our environmental and cultural values.”
Anyone with information or who may have seen suspicious activity in the area is urged to contact Belgrave Police on 9754 6677