Yabulu on the nose with its stinky si­lence

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

THE si­lence from the Yabulu nickel re­fin­ery over a stench at Saun­ders Beach on the week­end is deaf­en­ing.

Res­i­dents re­ported hav­ing burn­ing eyes and throats af­ter be­ing hit by a foul am­mo­nia smell on Sun­day night.

The stink has been blamed on the nickel re­fin­ery, which uses am­mo­nia in its re­fin­ing pro­cesses.

Res­i­dents claim it is the sec­ond time they have been forced to en­dure the stench in six months.

One would have thought the re­fin­ery would have been quick to ei­ther deny it was the cul­prit or apol­o­gise for the stink. But not this com­pany. It re­fused to re­spond to the Bul­letin’s in­quiries yesterday, ef­fec­tively snub­bing its nose at nearby res­i­dents.

This is hardly the be­hav­iour of a good cor­po­rate citizen.

Thank­fully, the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Her­itage Pro­tec­tion was more forth­com­ing, con­firm­ing late yesterday that equip­ment fail­ure at Yabulu was to blame for the stink.

An EHP spokesman said the prob­lem had been re­solved, although it “is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mat­ter fur­ther”.

Yabulu is a val­ued em­ployer in Townsville but that does not mean it should not be ac­count­able to the com­mu­nity in which it op­er­ates. Top marks for school pledge LAST month, the Townsville Bul­letin and oth­ers in the com­mu­nity urged the State Gov­ern­ment to start plan­ning for new schools in the North­ern Beaches sooner rather than later.

While schools in the area may not yet be at ca­pac­ity, they’re not far from it.

So it is pleas­ing the State Gov­ern­ment has heeded the mes­sage and pledged $ 90 mil­lion over four years to build a new state pri­mary school and con­duct pre­lim­i­nary plan­ning for a new sec­ondary school in the city’s north­ern cor­ri­dor.

Sub­urbs to the north of Townsville are among the fastest- grow­ing in Queens­land.

With­out ad­e­quate plan­ning, there is al­ways a dan­ger they will be caught short.

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