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Challenge Employment ordered to clean site

TRAINING GROUND: Challenge Employment’s site at Collingwood Park.
TRAINING GROUND: Challenge Employment’s site at Collingwood Park. Sarah Harvey

CHALLENGE Employment has been ordered to clean up its site at Collingwood Park after it was found to be storing cement sheeting there.

Challenge is a non-profit organisation aiming to help unemployed and disadvantaged people. Its Westfalen Parklands at Collingwood Park has training for horticulture, engineering, retail, hospitality and construction.

Mayor Paul Pisasale said the council acted on a complaint from a resident who saw trucks entering and leaving the site.

"Council officers made an inspection last week and issued an enforcement notice to clean up the site which has been operating as a storage facility for building waste," Cr Pisasale said. "Challenge Employment was advised any such activity on the site did not have approval from council and if an application was made it would be unlikely to be approved.

"I have also received an email from Challenge Employment's CEO advising me that all activities relating to the enforcement notice have been suspended."

Chris Hill, acting executive director of the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, said it investigated but "found this activity was not illegal dumping under the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011".

This activity was not illegal dumping under the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011

Challenge board representative David Brett said it brought in reject cement sheeting to be ground down and used as a concrete and soil additive.

"It's no different to sand and gravel - once you break it down it can be added to concrete as aggregate," Mr Hill said.

"Some of the soil is acidic and this stuff is alkaline so we also wanted to use it to balance the soil. There's no environmental danger; it's inert material.

"There have been all sorts of funny comments made about what we're doing. People said we were dumping these sheets into a lake and the council came out and found that wasn't the case.

"We're just a volunteer community organisation trying to do something good for the community with limited funds.

We're just a volunteer community organisation trying to do something good for the community with limited funds.

"We stopped it as soon as it was brought to our attention and we're working with the council to make the best outcome."

Topics:  collingwood park department of environment and heritage protection



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