Residents force council's hand over development of former Agent Orange site

A protest outside the Fawkner site.

Consistent work by residents of Melbourne's northern suburb of Fawkner has resulted in a unanimous decision by Moreland Council to reject a development application on a site heavily contaminated with dioxin.

Dioxin is a byproduct of Agent Orange and is one of the world’s deadliest chemicals.

Moreland Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton, who has been supporting residents in their campaign, told Green Left Weekly that without the community campaign such a decision would not have been possible.

"The result was a real example of people power,” she said.

“When residents first came to council, they were treated as hysterical. It took a lot of consistent work and research by residents, with the support of experienced environmental campaigners, to get the council to focus on the contamination issues and take them seriously."

Bolton told GLW the developer has applied to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to approve the development.

"But tonight's decision means the council will be standing with the residents and not against the residents."

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