Residents in Melbourne's north will rally for a crackdown on the hazardous waste industry after a factory fire, as the state government considers an electronic tracking system.
Dozens of people are expected to take action for an hour outside the Hume Global Learning Centre in Broadmeadows on Monday night ahead of a planned council meeting.
Victorian Socialists candidate for Calwell Jerome Small said Friday’s Campbellfield blaze at Bradbury Industrial Services Pty had been a “disaster that was waiting to happen”.
“Toothless environmental regulations make it profitable for cowboy corporations to cut corners that put the lives of their workers at risk,” he said ahead of the rally.
Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the government was considering an electronic system for the Environmental Protection Authority to monitor hazardous chemicals.
“We’re giving the EPA stronger powers to help catch these cowboys and issue tougher penalties to those who put community safety at risk,” she said in a statement on Sunday.
“We are also looking at updating our electronic intelligence gathering and sharing of information between agencies, and how we can better track waste, including exploring an electronic system.”
Changes to the Environment Protection Act passed in August but will take effect on July 1 next year, to allow time to develop the regulations and guidance required.
More than 175 firefighters brought the fire under control on Friday but it is still burning and is yet to be fully extinguished.
Victorian Coroner Darren Bracken attended the site on Friday and will investigate the cause of the blaze.
Operators of the Campbellfield business had their licence suspended by the Environmental Protection Agency in March.
The company had been repeatedly found storing excess highly-flammable material.