Anti-dump stand finally wins out
AFTER almost six years of torment, expense, stress and anxiety Hedlow property owner George Seifert was a relieved and happy man yesterday.
“I’ve finally heard the words I feared I would never hear,” said the 74-year-old.
“They won’t be putting the regional tip at Hedlow.”
Mr Seifert and his wife Mary fought tirelessly and won the battle of his life when Mayor Brad Carter announced at noon that the search for a super dump site was now focused on the existing Yeppoon landfill.
“It was just two of us against a massive bureaucracy at first, but thanks to some “excellent coverage” in the media, the public gradually became angrier and angrier at the injustice of it all.
“One by one the councillors realised how wrong it would be and that forced the rethink.
“In the end it was a victory for democracy that has restored my faith in the community.”
Mr Seifert described the huge cost – in time, money and emotion.
“I never doubted that we were doing the right thing in resisting the council, but I did doubt that it was wise for us to go on fighting,” Mr Seifert said.
“It would have been much easier, at our age, to take the money and go on a world cruise and let them get their way.
“But then that would have meant a huge scar in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
“It’s such an iconic area.”
The Seiferts were first told in 2005 that their land was under consideration as the site of a massive tip.
“I knew from the start that there was the very real potential for pollution of the Fitzroy River, but no one seemed to be listening.
“This isn’t just a victory for us. The environment is also a winner today.”
He said he believed that within a decade the whole issue of how to deal with the region’s waste would be reopened.
“This is a good interim measure, but I’m convinced the answer lies in alternative waste technologies rather than burying rubbish in the ground,” he said.
Investigations started in 1998 to find a replacement for Lakes Creek landfill which will close in 2013.
In 2005 there were 53 potential sites.
Hedlow pursued as priority site by council staff during 2007.
By 2009 growing public campaign against despoiling Hedlow.
2010 – council admits previous investigations flawed, review ordered.
Yesterday – council rules out Hedlow from further consideration and settles on Yeppoon instead.