Current issues

Numurkah tyre stockpile

Aerial image of tyre stockpile

Work to remove a stockpile of tyres being stored in the north of the state will begin shortly, after the Victorian Government approved funding to make the site safe.

An estimated 500,000 tyres are currently being stored at a site in Saxton Street, West Numurkah. The stockpile poses an extreme fire risk, and the consequences of a fire at the site would be catastrophic. The environmental impacts of a tyre fire are many, including impacts on air quality, firewater runoff into local waterways and land contamination.

EPA will use its powers under the Environment Protection Act 1970 to enter the site and remove the stockpile, with the assistance of Moira Shire Council. Removing the stockpile will remove this risk from the local community and the environment.

The removal of the tyres is expected to take about 10 weeks. During that time, we're asking the community to please take notice of any signage, and avoid the site while works are happening as heavy machinery and equipment will be operating in the area.

The tyres from the site will be taken to an EPA-licensed facility in Melbourne and shredded for recycling.

Numurkah tyre stockpile + Expand all Collapse all

  • How did the tyres get there in the first place? The site was permitted to reprocess tyres and rubber products, but increasing numbers of tyres were stored on the site beyond the scope of its planning permit. The processing equipment was inadequate for the type and volume of tyres stored at the site.
  • How many stockpiles are there in Victoria? Two large rural legacy stockpiles in Victoria, were in Stawell and Numurkah. The Stawell stockpile was cleaned up by EPA in 2017.
  • The stockpile has existed for a number of years, why has this just happened now? Between 2010 and 2018 there have been various VCAT and Supreme Court proceedings brought by Moira Shire Council to try to ensure the owners of the site met their legal obligations. Orders made by the Supreme Court and VCAT were not complied with and has led to EPA, with assistance from Moira Shire, to take the steps it has to reduce the community and environmental risk.
  • What happens if the Numurkah tyre stockpile catches fire? In the event of a fire, standard state emergency response arrangements will take effect. This means the specific control agency (Country Fire Authority) will assume control of the premises.
  • Who is paying for the removal? The Victorian Government has provided funding to meet the costs of the tyre stockpile cleanup. Moira Shire Council will assist EPA by project managing the cleanup operation of the Numurkah tyre stockpile. Rates paid by Moira Shire Council residents are not being used to pay for the cleanup operation.

Page last updated on 7 Dec 2018