Down in the dumps up at Jacobs Well
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.