Clean­away to review op­tions on com­post facility

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

It is un­clear what Clean­away’s next step will be fol­low­ing Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to take back sup­port for a com­post facility on the edge of How­long.

Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil Mayor Pat Bourke said, in his opin­ion, that there was not enough con­sul­ta­tion with the com­mu­nity.

“It was clear that it was di­vid­ing the com­mu­nity,” he told the Free Press.

Deputy Mayor Shaun Whitechurch said hav­ing to deal with a big issue straight up in the first coun­cil meet­ing put the coun­cil­lors to the test.

“I be­lieve at the end of the day that the right de­ci­sion was made,” he said.

“We had a lot of stuff to take in within the first meet­ing, but be­cause the com­post facility has been in ev­ery­one’s face and in the me­dia, all of the coun­cil­lors were aware of the po­si­tion and the peo­ple of How­long’s po­si­tion on it as well.

“So, we had an un­der­stand­ing out­side of our first coun­cil meet­ing of where things were head­ing.”

Coun­cil con­firmed it has no­ti­fied Clean­away of its de­ci­sion.

In a state­ment Clean­away said the com­pany was dis­ap­pointed with the de­ci­sion.

“We’ve un­der­gone a rig­or­ous review pro­cess with im­por­tant en­vi­ron­ment, plan­ning and com­mu­nity is­sues tested at length and be­lieve that we have de­signed a com­pli­ant facility, ap­pro­pri­ately co-lo­cated with the How­long land­fill and waste wa­ter treat­ment plant,” the state­ment said.

“We are yet to review our op­tions and are not in a po­si­tion to com­ment any fur­ther at this stage.”

Mean­while, the How­long Com­mu­nity Com­mit­tee has wel­comed the coun­cil’s sup­port on re­ject­ing Clean­away’s de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion to lease the land.

“The vote is a step in the right di­rec­tion for us all mov­ing for­ward but un­til Clean­away with­draw their de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion and ad­vise their in­tent to not pur­sue the project in writ­ing to Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil, we must con­tinue our ap­peal to the Land and En­vi­ron­ment Court,” HCC Trea­surer Brian Har­didge said.

“We can­not stop and hope that this is the end of the mat­ter and risk miss­ing ap­peal dead­lines.”

The West­ern Joint Re­gional Plan­ning Panel (JRPP) ap­proved the de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion to build an or­ganic waste man­age­ment and com­post­ing facility at How­long on Au­gust 29.

The De­part­ment of Plan­ning and En­vi­ron­ment told the Free Press that JRPP had made its de­ter­mi­na­tion and that ended its in­volve­ment.

“It is now up to coun­cil how they man­age the lease ar­range­ments on their land,” the spokesper­son said.

Cr Shaun Whitechurch said he be­lieved coun­cil had made the right de­ci­sion re­gard­ing the pro­posed How­long com­post fa­cil­ity.

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