News

Fran covered in so much dust she could 'taste it'

Bolsover Street resident Fran Grieve is concerned about the level of dust in the area caused by the Auizon container terminal which she beleives could be affecting peoples' health. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Bolsover Street resident Fran Grieve is concerned about the level of dust in the area caused by the Auizon container terminal which she beleives could be affecting peoples' health. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison

FRAN Grieve has been living with an unwelcome intruder for more than three years.

Every day, dust from the neighbouring Aurizon rail freight terminal steals into her Bolsover St home, blanketing everything in its reach.

Ms Grieve says at times it is so thick, she can taste it.

And as quickly as she cleans it, it reappears.

She has been fighting to have the problem addressed and is now armed with a document that might help her win her lengthy crusade.

An investigation commissioned by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection has found the dust levels in the community constituted an 'environmental nuisance'.

It was launched after the DEHP received a petition complaining about 'excessive dust, noise and operating hours' at the terminal. It carried the names of 12 residents from nine Bolsover St homes.

Monitoring was done between August and November 2013 at four locations - two within the terminal site and two at private homes on the opposite side of the street.

Dust deposition rates at the community monitoring sites bordering the terminal site were found to exceed the DEHP limit value for dust nuisance.

Ms Grieve hopes the investigation will prompt some dramatic changes.

She says if the terminal can't be relocated, it needs to be upgraded.

An Aurizon spokesperson said Aurizon received the results of the monitoring in August.

"Aurizon is investigating a range of mitigation methods and is working with DEHP."

Ms Grieve has lived in her home for 30 years.

She said the problems only started after the 2010/11 floods, which caused significant damage to the surface of the terminal.

While a portion of the concrete pad was resurfaced, much of the terminal remained unsealed.

"The dust is the worst problem, but sometimes the noise just drives you mad."

Ms Grieve said she no longer uses the veranda at the front of the house.

"We can't sit out here anymore," she said.

"The whole thing is unbearable and all along, we are breathing this stuff in."

CONCLUSION

The dust investigation demonstrated that dust deposition rates in the community bordering the Aurizon rail freight terminal site in Rockhampton exceeded the DEHP limit value for dust nuisance in half the samples collected between August and November 2013.

Topics:  aurizon, dust, rail freight




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