Steve Martin pointing to where a waste management facility is planned to be built in the Livingstone Shire. PIC: Lachlan Berlin
Steve Martin pointing to where a waste management facility is planned to be built in the Livingstone Shire. PIC: Lachlan Berlin

Concern over proposed CQ recycling facility

Since Caroline Martin was a little girl, she always dreamt of building a house on the hill of a Central Queensland property that belonged to her grandparents.

But should that dream become a reality in the future, it could overlook a waste management facility nestled in the bushes below.

She was born on the block and lives there with her husband Steve, but they are concerned about the impact the new facility will have on their land on Artillery Road at Ironpot.

They have refused to pay excessive amounts of money to have water connected to the Livingstone Shire network, so they rely on the dams and creeks on their property.

Now they are worried the waste facility will produce run-off which will go into their water sources.

One of the dams on Mr and Mrs Martin's property that could possibly be affected if there's any runoff from the waste management facility. PIC: Lachlan Berlin
One of the dams on Mr and Mrs Martin's property that could possibly be affected if there's any runoff from the waste management facility. PIC: Lachlan Berlin

 

Mr Martin is also worried because he doesn't know how they're going to manage the run-off or the expulsion of the toxic chemical silica.

He said they wanted to buy 15 acres (6ha) of his land to join onto another block, but Mr Martin refused as it was used to provide hay to their cattle.

And it's not just Mr and Mrs Martin who are up in arms about the development proposal - all adjoining property owners have submitted objections to the development to the council.

Tanya and Jeffrey Hasan own a property adjoining the proposed development, and are concerned about it being located on top of a hill.

Mrs Hasan said run-off from the property was inevitable and had to go somewhere.

"We rely on this water, water is life in the country," she said.

They have lived there for 12 years, and Mrs Hasan's parents lived next door for 25 years.

"That's why we moved out here, because its rural, because it's quiet," Mr Hasan said.

The site of the new waste management facility will be somewhere behind these trees on Mr and Mrs Hasan's property. PIC: Lachlan Berlin
The site of the new waste management facility will be somewhere behind these trees on Mr and Mrs Hasan's property. PIC: Lachlan Berlin

 

As of April 6, 17 objections are available from the council's website.

All complaints, except for Mr and Mrs Hasan's, are identical templates.

The templated complaint says the region is zoned as rural, not industrial and it's 'unacceptable' that the facility, which will have significant noise, traffic and pollutants, could proceed.

They're also concerned about biosecurity, because their cattle may have to be declared with the chemicals released by the waste management facility.

There are also concerns about scavenger birds gathering at the nearby Hedlow Airfield, owned by Judy Moisy.

"A waste management site would present an unacceptable risk to aircrafts entering, leaving and returning to base," the submission says.

"In 2013 there was one such incident that actually destroyed an aircraft."

View of the Hedlow Airfield, west of Yeppoon. PIC: Lachlan Berlin
View of the Hedlow Airfield, west of Yeppoon. PIC: Lachlan Berlin

 

Noise concerns were also raised, with residents being worried about some 251 vehicles set to travel along Artillery Road daily, increasing the traffic numbers.

And residents are also worried the council won't monitor the change of use on the site, as there have been expansions of the existing green waste facility located nearby.

"It's basically a lack of faith in council with a lack of monitoring of these situations," Mrs Martin said.

"It's not apparent with that other enterprise we have on our doorstep either."

(From left) Steve Martin, Caroline Martin, Judy Moisy, Tanya Hasan, Jeffrey Hasan PIC: Lachlan Berlin
(From left) Steve Martin, Caroline Martin, Judy Moisy, Tanya Hasan, Jeffrey Hasan PIC: Lachlan Berlin

 

An opportunity to minimise waste

KB Waste Group manager Peter Fraser said the company wanted to build a waste processing facility to recycle concrete and help minimise waste.

The planning report states the facility will sort the waste from skip bins into the different components, so that appropriate materials can be recycled.

It says about 90 per cent of waste collected will be construction and demolition waste.

Non-recoverable materials are sent to a local dump for disposal and it's a long-term vision to find a use for all waste that enters the new site.

The facility will process 30,000t of waste every year, according to the traffic report.

"We need a site that gives us enough space to be able to separate these and reprocess them," Mr Fraser said.

"It's a [44ha] property there, and to be honest, we're going to use less than 10 per cent of it.

"It's not visible from the road, it's completely surrounded by trees.

"No one will know we're there anyhow."

The development plan for the proposed waste facility on Artillery Road, Ironpot.
The development plan for the proposed waste facility on Artillery Road, Ironpot.

 

The residents pointed out trees that were supposed to be planted by the other existing waste management facility still hadn't been planted.

Mr Fraser said there were trees for 200m to 300m in every direction of the property, and there would be no noise pollution.

He said there was a requirement that all concrete that crushed must be fully enclosed.

"By definition of having a requirement upon us by keeping dust suppression, there shouldn't be any silica being emitted into the air," he said, making it impossible for silica to be emitted as per the environmental report.

The environmental report says vehicles at the facility will need to travel slowly as to minimise dust, maintain a vegetation barrier to protect against wind, use a water truck to suppress dust when necessary, and make conveyor belts fully enclosed.

Mr Fraser said there was no threat to adjoining properties.

"If there would have been, I dare say we wouldn't have gotten state environmental approval," he said.

The development proposal states the operations will require a substantial site area, with a footprint of 3.8ha, and the existing industrial areas within the Livingstone Shire aren't suitable to accommodate the new facility.

He also said the biggest trucks that would enter and leave the facility would be heavy rigids, not semi-trailers.

He said the company was working to understand the original submission to the council.

The traffic report says there will be up to 15 workers on site.

The company runs a recycling facility in Parkhurst which includes a Containers for Change site.

"We still haven't decided as to whether we bring the containers for change element onto site," he said.



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