Concerns about Black Hill landfill rubbish overflow were raised as far back as 1993, according to Duggan Street landowner Mark Hosking.
Mr Hosking said articles from The Courier in April and May of that year showed the Ballarat City Council at the time was worried about the “nature and extent of landfill on the site” after the state government backed down on a proposed housing development.
The Chisholm Street site has been back in the spotlight after Mr Hosking complained to the Environment Protection Authority about rubbish polluting his land, which he had planned to sub-divide.
The EPA has since directed the current Ballarat City Council to map the boundaries of its legacy landfill, including where it overflows into residential areas, by November 30.
Back in 1993, then councillor Don Woodward told the council’s community amenity and services committee on April 27 that “lead and methane emissions and unstable foundations” made the reserve unsuitable for housing.
Cr Woodward told the meeting lead paint on old materials and methane gas from decomposing materials would have a serious impact on residents’ health.
In May 1993, The Courier reported a legal officer’s report to council stated that no council records were available on the history of the site for refuse disposal and that council should “assume the worst”.
An editorial in The Courier on May 3 also stated that: “allowing this area to be sold off as housing lots and then issuing building permits to buyers could render the city liable for damages if structural and health problems become evident in later years”.
Mr Hosking, who has been battling the council over the issue since rubbish was first found in 2012, said it seemed there was “good advice coming from many sources even back in 1993.”
The current council says it will continue to “work with the EPA following the receipt of the formal notice relating to the site”.
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