CONSTRUCTION unions in Australia have vowed to go on a strike if a proposed waste dump for the obsolete Niddrie Quarry in Melbourne goes ahead. About a thousand locals attended a protest meeting in a park where an access road will be built to give trucks access to the dump. Residents say the tip, which will house contaminated soil from industrial sites, is a threat to their health and safety and warn that toxic material could leak into a nearby creek and eventually the bay. The site, now a lake, is 10 metres from a residential area and within a kilometre of seven schools.
The president of the Niddrie Quarry Action Group, Jo Hoyne said that residents would campaign against the government in the next election. "If a government can take a park to get access to a site, then there is no area in Melbourne that is safe," he said.
Materials that are likely to be dumped include arsenic, lead and cadmium. However, government officials have said that the decision to approve the dump had come after long consideration and had the support of the environment protection authority.