To: Hume City Council and the Victorian State Government
Stop the Toxic Fires
Urgent action is needed to stop toxic fires that plague Melbourne's industrial areas in Melbourne. Fires are a routine occurrence in areas such as Hume, and it's working-class and migrant communities that are forced to live in suburbs where the area is regularly unsafe to breathe.
Time and time again, it's been revealed that companies cutting corners have been responsible for horrific blazes here in Hume by storing waste unsafely and violating health and safety standards. Companies that operate under these kinds of dangerous conditions that produce fires must lose their license and be closed. Companies that put their workers and the community at risk should face criminal charges.
We do not yet know the extent of illicit and unsafe waste dumping in Hume, nor do we know how severe the impact has been to the health of the entire community. Industrial warehouses in Hume should be audited to ensure they meet health and safety standards. Extensive, long-term community health studies need to be undertaken to determine the public health impact of these toxic fires.
Most importantly, once this information is known, action should be taken to ensure compensation for the residents impacted by toxic fires and criminal corporations should be forced to face the consequences for their actions.
Why is this important?
The slap-on-the-wrist fines that these companies get are not enough. Dodgy companies that cut corners and put their workers, the community and the environment at risk should lose their operating licences and be closed.
These fires have deadly consequences and we need urgent action to hold these corporate criminals to account.