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Sydney toxic sludge won’t be dumped in Newcastle: MP

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Following a sustained campaign from NSW Labor and the local community, toxic sludge from the construction of Sydney’s Northern Beaches link will not be dumped in Newcastle.

And, the NSW Government’s backflip to abandon its plans to send 12,000 cubic metres of noxious waste to the Hunter, has been welcomed by state MP Tim Crakanthorp.

Under the original proposal, the material would be processed on a barge in Middle Harbour before heading to Newcastle.

It was supposed to remain there until loaded into trucks and taken to a suitably licensed facility such as the Summerhill Waste Management Centre or Cleanaway Beresfield Newcastle.

“In November, it was revealed the NSW Government had tried to bypass community consultation to dump the refuse containing lead, mercury, silver, zinc, poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and dioxins in the city, which will be dug up during construction of the North Sydney infrastructure project,” Mr Crakanthorp said.

“However, the local backlash was swift and severe, with 15,000 people signing a petition against the move.

“On Tuesday, Shadow Minister for Roads John Graham took the government and department to task on the proposal in Budget Estimates hearings, with the Transport for NSW deputy secretary, infrastructure and place Camilla Drover stating that the sludge would not be transported to Newcastle.

“Instead, it’ll be barged to location near the area’s Spit Bridge, then taken to an accredited facility in Sydney which will be chosen by the contractor.”

Mr Crakanthorp admitted he was thrilled with the latest development.

“This proposal should never have been on the table,” the Newcastle state member said.

“The pushback to this ludicrous plan was fierce and rightly so.

“Newcastle is not Sydney’s dumping ground – and we should not take their waste while they get the infrastructure.

“Thank you to everyone who stood with me and fought against this.

“We won.”

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