Down in the dumps up at Ja­cobs Well

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS -

THE Gold Coast’s big­gest com­mu­nity stink is in the north, away from the lights of the Glit­ter Strip, in the cane lands at Ja­cobs Well.

This is about dust, noise and a stench not fa­mil­iar in a farm­ing com­mu­nity.

Frus­trated res­i­dents have taken their own video footage at night, as shaky as the pho­to­graphic work in the Amer­i­can hor­ror film The Blair Witch Pro­ject.

The vil­lains are il­le­gal waste dumpers gain­ing ac­cess to waste sta­tions op­er­ated pri­vately.

“At the end of the day the gates are opened. We are catch­ing trucks at all hours dump­ing stuff. It can be two o’clock in the morn­ing,” a res­i­dent said.

“The big­gest con­cern we have is there’s no one there at two o’clock or three o’clock in the morn­ing to look at what they’re dump­ing.”

A re­port to the city coun­cil’s wa­ter and waste com­mit­tee last month on the State Govern­ment’s new land­fill waste levy con­sid­ered the prob­lem of il­le­gal dump­ing.

Of­fi­cers pre­dicted the levy, to be in­tro­duced in April, would lead to an in­crease in il­le­gal dump­ing by up to 30 per cent. They es­ti­mated it cost the city about $2 mil­lion a year.

Fines range from $2000 for an in­di­vid­ual to more than $6000 for a com­pany.

The coun­cil in­ves­ti­gated 1500 dump­ing in­ci­dents in 2016-17. Guess what the re­sults were? Only four in­fringe­ment no­tices were is­sued.

Res­i­dents have writ­ten to coun­cil­lors. Their mes­sage has been blunt: Ja­cobs Well is a dump site for the build­ing and waste in­dus­try.

The Ja­cobs Well and District Progress As­so­ci­a­tion has asked how the af­ter­hours dump­ing can con­tinue to hap­pen when en­vi­ron­men­tal agree­ments re­quire a 5am to 7pm op­er­a­tion from Mon­day through to Satur­day.

Truck rock spills have dam­aged ve­hi­cles, pot holes open up on lo­cal roads and tank wa­ter is catch­ing dust from tin roofs.

“We have ob­nox­ious, pun­gent odours spread­ing across town at higher fre­quency than be­fore with a vis­ceral con­cern that with the stench comes dis­ease,” a Progress As­so­ci­a­tion mem­ber wrote.

The coun­cil has re­sponded by con­firm­ing its of­fi­cers have been work­ing with one op­er­a­tor “to achieve com­pli­ance with ac­cept­able stan­dards” but was yet to get any spe­cific com­plaints about out-of-work hours.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion was launched on an­other site for con­tra­ven­tions and a show­cause no­tice was is­sued.

The coun­cil has told res­i­dents the sites all ob­tained ap­provals from the De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Sci­ence re­gard­ing “emis­sions and amenity im­pacts”. Res­i­dents are do­ing the usual rounds of door knock­ing, talk­ing to coun­cil­lors and MPs, writ­ing to coun­cil and govern­ment bu­reau­crats. Their frus­tra­tion rises like the rub­bish.

This is not a dust storm that will blow away.

Res­i­dents at Pim­pama and Coomera reg­u­larly com­plain about the lack of cops. At Palm Beach and Burleigh it is about high rise and light rail.

Main Beach res­i­dents are so mo­bilised it is ‘cam­paign cen­tral’ for any an­noy­ance.

The beau­ti­ful and once quiet fish­ing vil­lage of Ja­cobs Well is about to find its voice.

The Ja­cobs Well dump – res­i­dents are at their wits’ end over il­le­gal dump­ing.

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