How­long com­mu­nity to ap­peal ap­proved com­post fa­cil­ity

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE - BY SARAH DEAN

The How­long com­mu­nity will fight the re­cently ap­proved How­long Com­post Fa­cil­ity de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion all the way, ac­cord­ing to How­long Com­mu­nity Com­mit­tee Chair­man Stu­art Sizer.

How­long res­i­dents will rally at a com­mu­nity meet­ing on Mon­day, Au­gust 11 from 7pm at the How­long Golf Re­sort where they will dis­cuss their next step, in­clud­ing talks of an ap­peal in the NSW Land and En­vi­ron­ment Court.

The meet­ing had pre­vi­ously been or­gan­ised for to­day (Septem­ber 6) but the com­mit­tee wanted to make sure it had all the critical in­for­ma­tion at its fin­ger­tips be­fore in­form­ing the com­mu­nity.

The fa­cil­ity is planned to be built just 600 me­ters from the near­est res­i­dents and 1500 me­tres from the town’s res­i­den­tial ar­eas.

Mr Sizer said news that Clean­away’s de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion had been ap­proved was “ex­tremely dev­as­tat­ing” given the enor­mous amount of work put into the pre­sen­ta­tions

made to the Western Joint Re­gional Plan­ning Panel.

“The re­al­ity is that com­mon sense didn’t pre­vail, it’s in­ap­pro­pri­ate, poorly planned and we don’t need it in our town,” he said.

“There are other al­ter­na­tives and that’s what we are still fight­ing for.

“What is re­ally dis­ap­point­ing is that the JRPP has ig­nored those 300 ob­jec­tors and the 57 in­di­vid­u­als who spoke to the JRPP at a pub­lic meet­ing on June 15 this year.

“They ex­pressed very per­sonal is­sues which in­cluded how proud they are of How­long and why the fa­cil­ity should not be con­structed.

“Why would such a fa­cil­ity that will cause odour is­sues and cre­ate traf­fic prob­lems be al­lowed?”

Mr Sizer said the com­mu­nity was pre­pared to go into bat­tle.

“We want to ramp up this fight and we have just had a call from (Far­rer MP) Sus­san Ley’s of­fice, she is go­ing to send a rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the meet­ing and we are try­ing to get na­tional tele­vi­sion cov­er­age,” he said.

The newly elected Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil will not be sworn in un­til late Septem­ber, which co­in­cides with the 28-day dead­line for the How­long Com­mu­nity Com­mit­tee to of­fi­cially de­cide whether to ap­peal the JRPP de­ci­sion in the NSW Land and En­vi­ron­ment Court.

JRPP Chair­man Gor­don Kirkby said the de­ci­sion to ap­prove the de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion was a re­sult of con­sid­er­able de­lib­er­a­tion, com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion and as­sess­ment in line with cur­rent plan­ning, pol­icy and strate­gic plans.

“The panel ac­knowl­edges the com­plex­ity of the is­sues and has taken time and care in its de­lib­er­a­tions, in­clud­ing a fol­low-up meet­ing with the How­long Com­mu­nity Com­mit­tee,” he said.

“We’ve read ev­ery sub­mis­sion re­ceived dur­ing the ex­hi­bi­tion pe­riod and lis­tened to the com­mu­nity’s views dur­ing the pub­lic meet­ing.

“We sought ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion on key is­sues in­clud­ing air qual­ity and health im­pacts, traf­fic im­pacts and the de­vel­op­ment and growth of How­long.

“We’re sat­is­fied that all po­ten­tial im­pacts can be mit­i­gated.”

Mr Kirkby said in ap­prov­ing the de­vel­op­ment, the panel sought to strengthen the com-

Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil Ad­min­istr­tor Mike Eden.

Res­i­dents at­tended the panel hear­ing to voice their op­po­si­tion to the de­vel­op­ment in June.

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