Council looks at Yeppoon for dump

FLAWED assumptions were behind Rockhampton Regional Council’s shock decision to shift the focus for a super dump from farmland at Hedlow to the existing Yeppoon landfill yesterday.

Mayor Brad Carter told a press conference that the proposed Hedlow site was now ruled out as the location for the tip in which millions of tonnes of the region’s rubbish would be buried for decades to come.

He declared that the Yeppoon dump had emerged as the clear favourite and would be expanded and extended if there was a favourable outcome from a thorough environmental impact study.

Councillors met in private yesterday to endorse the new policy which comes after six years and $1 million worth of analysis into prospective sites.

Cr Carter said he was “pleased to announce” that any further consideration of Hedlow as a landfill site had been ruled out and that flawed assumptions by council staff were to blame for the wasted time and expense.

He assured residents of Yeppoon that there would be public consultation on the new plan and extensive and detailed examination of the environmental conditions.

“There is no way in the world we are going to create any environmental problems for our community,” Cr Carter said.

If everything goes smoothly, the Yeppoon dump will be ready to take over when the Lakes Creek landfill in Rockhampton closes at the end of 2013.

He said every option had been considered, including transporting all the region’s waste to Benaraby (south of Gladstone) and appropriate alternative waste technologies such as incinerators.

“Developing Yeppoon will save about $40 million over 20 years and it will be able to cater for the region’s landfill needs for at least 20 years,” he said.

The project would cost $20 million or more, but was the most cost-effective option.

“We have been looking at alternatives to landfill and have not ruled them out, but they don’t meet our requirements at this time,” he said.

“We will pursue them and if they become economical in the future they will come into play.

“We wish to be as honest as we can with the people of Yeppoon.

This is not about dumping rubbish from other parts of the region in their backyard. We will do our best to present the case to the community.

“I understand there will be residents who will not be happy.”

He said an expanded Yeppoon landfill would be modern and clean, with a very small working face accessible only to commercial operators.”

There would be transfer stations throughout the region for people to take their rubbish to. It would then be taken to the dump by council vehicles.

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