House debates

Monday, 15 June 2020

Constituency Statements

Leggatt, Mrs Del OAM, West Gate Tunnel

10:42 am

Photo of Ms Catherine KingMs Catherine King (Ballarat, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development) Share this | | Hansard source

On 4 May the Labor Party lost one of its true believers with the passing of Del Leggatt OAM. Del was a member of the Bacchus Marsh branch and was always an energetic contributor to debates during meetings. She was passionate about her community and about the party. She joined the party in 1967 and was made a life member of the Labor Party in 2007. Throughout her life Del was a dedicated servant of Bacchus March. She served as a councillor for the Shire of Bacchus Marsh from 1986 to 1994, becoming the first female mayor of Moorabool Shire. She was also as long-term member of Djerriwarrh Health Services. In 2018 Del's outstanding contribution to her community was acknowledged when she received Moorabool's Citizen of the Year. She also received an Order of Australia in 2004. Del will be truly missed. She was a friend and I miss her. She loved her community and she fought incredibly hard for it.

In that spirit today, I also want to speak about something that I feel very passionately about and that I want to fight for. I want to speak about the proposals to store contaminated soil from the West Gate Tunnel project in Bacchus Marsh in my electorate. I am firmly opposed to this proposal. It is true that when the Victorian government's West Gate Tunnel project opens it will offer huge benefits to communities across Melbourne's west and western Victoria, none more so than the marsh. But that does not mean that the support of these communities can be taken for granted. Over recent weeks and months we have had community groups, schools, local residents and even the local RSL speaking out against this proposal. Locals are rightly worried about the long-term safety of the project, and they are worried about what trucks will mean for their beautiful town, and particularly the Avenue of Honour. The community has not been adequately informed about the project. The local council, Moorabool shire, have not been given all of the information they need in order to determine the safety of this project not only from a health point of view but also from a traffic management point of view. There has been enormous secrecy around how this project is being handled, and the community is rightly angry and up in arms about it. I cannot see, when you look at the way in which traffic is managed currently in Bacchus Marsh, how you could possibly have this proposal go forward. I am very proud to stand with the Bacchus Marsh community on this issue and will continue to advocate for this PFAS contaminated soil to be contained properly and elsewhere.