Alex Fraser Group

By on June 11, 2021

Clarinda Recycling Facility to Continue Building Greener Roads

Alex Fraser have been Members of the CMPA since the Association’s inception in 2000.

Following a review by an Independent Expert Advisory Committee, a ten year extension has been granted for the Clarinda Recycling Facility, providing a solution to the state’s recycling and resources crises, and securing jobs for around 50 Victorians.

Alex Fraser Managing Director Peter Murphy said the Clarinda Recycling Facility formed a critical part of Victoria’s network of world-class recycling facilities, with capacity to recycle up to one million tonnes of recyclables each year – around 25 per cent of Melbourne’s problem glass and construction waste.

“Over the last few years, Victoria has been increasingly impacted by a resources shortage and a recycling crisis. A metropolitan facility with the recycling and supply capacity of Clarinda is needed more than ever,” Murphy said.

The sustainable construction materials recycled at Clarinda are in increasing demand for major infrastructure projects and for ongoing council maintenance work in Melbourne’s south east. The site supplies local council roadworks and Victoria’s ‘Big Build’ projects, including the Level Crossing Removal Projects, the Mordialloc Freeway and the Monash Freeway Upgrade.

It is also ideally located to supply the planned Suburban Rail Loop and the Suburban Roads Upgrade.

Murphy asserts that the recycling facility makes a positive contribution to the local Green Wedge.

“Clarinda represents an important shift away from past landfill and quarry activities of the area and is a proven example of the circular economy in action.”
Fauna on site at Alex Fraser’s Clarinda Recycling Facility The site is a former sand quarry that has been remediated and is now home to thousands of indigenous trees which, along with the water bodies, provide ideal habitat for dozens of native birds and frog species (38 species). In 2020, the Clarinda Recycling Facility made steps towards carbon neutrality with all emissions offset through the planting of native trees around Victoria.

Alex Fraser has been working with private and government agencies to identify suitable sites in the south east and will continue to do so.

The company has committed to continue its support of local community groups and initiatives, and its work with its neighbours, local schools and community organisations to further improve environmental outcomes.

SITE PHOTO – Clarinda Recycling Facility forms a critical part of Victoria’s network of recycling facilities.
SITE PHOTO – Clarinda Recycling Facility is home to over 40,000 indigenous trees and plants.

The following timeline details the decision review process

Alex Fraser Pty Ltd (the Applicant) has been running a construction and demolition recycling business at 275-315 Kingston Road Clarinda under a permit issued in 2008. The existing permit expires in 2023 and the permit includes provision for the permit holder to apply for an extension.

In 2019 the Applicant applied to Kingston City Council (Council) to extend the permit for 15 years or amend it to achieve the same result. Over 900 objections to the grant of the extension were received. In November 2019 Council refused the extension request. In December 2019, the Planning Committee of Council refused the permit amendment application under delegation.

The Applicant consequently lodged an application for review of both decisions with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) on 23 December 2019. The Minister for Planning called in the permit application from VCAT on 16 February 2020 and the Clarinda Recycling Advisory Committee (the Committee) was appointed on 29 April 2020.

Due to COVID-19 constraints, the Committee conducted Directions Hearings and the main Hearing via videoconference. After the conclusion of the first Stage 3 lockdown period, the Committee was able to undertake a carefully regulated accompanied site inspection.

An eight day Hearing was held via videoconference for the Applicant, Council, objectors and agencies to elaborate on their written submissions. In general, State Government waste management agencies and others with an interest in using the facility were supportive of its continued operation; as were private sector users.

The Committee has considered the submissions and evidence
and has drawn the following conclusions:

• The area has been gradually but clearly transitioning from
quarries and landfills with high amenity impacts to a future of
open space and recreation; a process that is nearly complete.
• This process has been driven by clear Green Wedge planning
policy which directed and facilitated the transition over a long
period of time, culminating in Amendment C143 in 2015.
• (the site is) being operated to a very high standard with little
to no offsite amenity impacts.
• The current recycling operation is strategically a very
significant part of the construction and demolition resource
recovery industry, both in south east Melbourne and at a
metropolitan level.
• The premature closure of the operation without a suitable
site being found to replace it would have a significant impact
on resource recovery and likely lead to an increase in the
waste stream to landfill and the more rapid exploitation of
quarry resources.

The full report from the Advisory Committee can be read
here:
https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/500851/Clarinda-Recycling-Facility-AC-Report.pdf

Alex Fraser thanks CMPA for their valued support throughout the approvals process from networking events, providing introductions to relevant government contacts; articles in Sand & Stone; and for their submission to the Advisory Committee appointed by Victorian Minister for Planning to make recommendations on the future of the Clarinda Recycling Facility.

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