Locals angered by smoke cloud
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.