Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan): My adjournment matter is directed to the Honourable Lily D’Ambrosio MP, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and Minister for Solar Homes in the other place. This adjournment matter relates to the portfolio responsibilities of energy, environment and climate change. In recent weeks the residents of the Western Metropolitan Region have been subjected to an unbearable odour. As a resident and representative of the Western Metropolitan Region I have been subjected to this horrendous smell myself as well. Recently during hot days I am advised that local residents have been unable to turn on the ducted cooling in their homes. This is because the odour from outdoors spreads through their entire home when they switch on their cooling or open their windows. I understand that the residents are left to bear the heat and wait for a wind change to push the odour in the opposite direction before they open their windows or switch on their ducted cooling. The constant wafts and drifts of odour are making people nauseous. Many have reported their concerns on social media and believe that the problem is deteriorating their lifestyle.
The smell has been blanketing the Werribee, Tarneit, Truganina, Wyndham Vale and Manor Lakes areas for weeks now. Action must be taken immediately. The action I seek from the minister is to provide me with an update on determining what has been the cause of this odour and to provide an explanation of what actions the government is taking or will take to overcome this growing concern for the residents of the Western Metropolitan Region who are putting up with the smell.
Lily D’Ambrosio MP, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change & Minister for Solar Homes (2 May 2022):
I acknowledge the recent odour impacts to residents in western metropolitan Melbourne.
On 16-18 March 2022, Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) received 80 odour reports from residents of Manor Lakes and Wyndham Vale and surrounds. EPA’s investigating officers quickly identified the odour was being generated by fertiliser spreading activities on a local farm.
EPA provided direction to the farmer on immediate actions to stop the odour and served a legal notice to inform further investigations and actions needed to prevent odour impacts in future. EPA’s investigation is ongoing to determine if any laws were breached and to ensure all practicable steps are taken to prevent similar incidents in future.
EPA has not received further odour reports from this incident since these actions were taken and has provided an email update to community reporters.
I encourage the community to continue to report pollution concerns by contacting EPA’s pollution hotline at 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).