HORRIFIED BY LAND REZONING
Residents speak out about potential hazards
DALBY residents concerned they will soon be neighbours with “high impact industry” operators have been given a last-minute extension to submit their objections.
The two-week extension was announced yesterday, two days after a community meeting to discuss the impact of the proposed planning scheme amendments which had taken residents by surprise.
The main area to be rezoned as high impact is bordered by Dalby-Kogan Rd and Yarella Rd and is about 5km from the town centre.
Co-owner of a property in the proposed high impact zone, Zena Ronnfeldt, said she was concerned about the proposed changes and lack of awareness of the issue in the community.
Mrs Ronnfeldt requested a copy of the detailed Industrial Land Use Strategy Report and said she was horrified by what she read.
“People who have been rezoned are the lucky ones,” Mrs Ronnfeldt said.
“They will get to sell up and leave, while everyone else has to stay and live with the toxic emissions as nobody will want to buy their house.”
Another home owner who wished to remain anonymous said he first heard about the situation less than three weeks ago, when he received a notice from council.
The notice said the purpose of a high impact industry zone was to harbour a wide range of industrial uses likely to have significant adverse off-site impacts including those that required separation from sensitive land uses.
“We bought a home in Dalby to one day retire on.
“If we wanted to be in high impact zoning, we could have bought a home near the ethanol plant,” he said.
“That plant is listed as medium, not high. If fuel producing is medium, what’s high?”
Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said although submissions were originally due today council had decided to extend it because “we’re keen to hear people’s views”.
He said Dalby already had a number of businesses that were zoned high impact industry. He listed operations such as the White Industries foundry, concrete batching plants, the ethanol plant, Cotton Gin, boiler making, major manufacturing and many more as being high impact industries.
“These industries are major employers in our region and support many direct jobs as well as the jobs of other businesses,” he said.
The new date for submissions is December 14.
CHANGING ZONE: Zena Ronnfeldt is pictured in an irrigated Barley field on one of the properties that WDRC is planning to rezone as a high impact industry zone.