Lo­cals an­gered by smoke cloud

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS - By Rory Sheav­ils

CAN­NON­VALE res­i­dents are up in arms af­ter a burn­ing mulch pile at the Can­non­vale Trans­fer Sta­tion saw smoke in­vade their homes at the week­end.

Paluma Rd res­i­dent Joe Hawkes, who re­cently spent time in hos­pi­tal for breath­ing prob­lems, said the smoke had driven him from his home and in­flamed his con­di­tion.

“Even (Mon­day) I went out to Proser­pine and didn’t come home un­til I had to,” he said.

“I even had peo­ple call­ing up here ask­ing if the house had burnt down – that’s how much smoke there was (on Sun­day),” Mr Hawkes said.

Can­non­vale’s Suzette Pelt said she also ex­pe­ri­enced ill ef­fects from the blaze, suf­fer­ing headaches, sore eyes and an itch­ing throat.

Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Scott Wa­ters said the re­sponse in­cluded “mon­i­tor­ing equip­ment for air qual­ity” and he en­cour­aged those af­fected to make a for­mal sub­mis­sion to the coun­cil.

At­ten­tion has now turned to how the pile spon­ta­neously com­busted.

“We’re dis­cussing with (con­trac­tors) JJ Richards their pro­ce­dures in lead­ing up to the events of the week­end,” Mr Wa­ters said.

With claims the pile in­cluded more than just green waste, Mr Wa­ters said that “shouldn’t be the case” and any such rub­bish would have been put there in­ad­ver­tently.

But Ms Pelt wasn’t con­vinced, say­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ate rub­bish had found its way to the pile for “over a decade”.

“I would have to dis­agree 100% that any rub­bish in there would have been an ac­ci­dent,” she said.

The coun­cil plans to re­open the green waste fa­cil­ity as soon as pos­si­ble.

BURN­ING IS­SUE: Smoke rises from the mulch pit fire on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

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