Concrete plant needs a new site, says owner
BRAD Baldwin’s concrete batching plant has been hit with two huge floods in four years, and he says his only option now is to move the factory to higher ground.
“As our land is flood zoned, we cannot even get any insurance from the effects of flood,” Mr Baldwin said.
“In the last two floods we suffered severe financial hardship as we lost all stock and complete operations of our plant for three months.
“Another one would be the end of us.”
But following Baldwin’s Sand, Gravel and Concrete’s application to shift its Burnett Hwy operation to an industrial estate on Luthje Rd, there has been an uproar of protest from neighbours and concerned parties.
As it is on zoned industrial land, Mr Baldwin said his parents were advised by the Monto Shire Council to move the business there from Cunningham St 30 years ago.
“Lots of the protest has been about the dust, but in our application we said how we are going to keep the sand screens on the Burnett Hwy,” Mr Baldwin said.
“That is the dustiest part of our operation.
“And all items in the code have been ticked in our application. We will have every measure possible to contain dust and noise and will ensure no contaminated water enters the wetland.”
Mr Baldwin said he was disappointed a letter had been written by fellow Luthje Rd resident and Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney to North Burnett Regional Council advising it to refuse the application.
“Surely this must be a conflict of interest, for a figure of authority to give advice on a development so close to his home,” Mr Baldwin said.
But Mr Seeney disagreed.
“It’s my job as a local member to represent all the communities in my electorate, and it’s my job as the State Planning Minister to provide advice to local councils on planning matters,” Mr Seeney said.
“I’m happy to be criticised for being an effective local member and it’s crazy to suggest that simply because I live in Monto, I can’t represent the people of Monto.”
Mr Baldwin’s application will be determined by the North Burnett Regional Council in the next fortnight.
Brad Baldwin said his only option now is to move the operation to higher ground.