Con­crete plant needs a new site, says owner

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Emily Smith emily.smith@cnbtimes.com.au

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.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

Brad Bald­win said his only op­tion now is to move the op­er­a­tion to higher ground.

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