Stink over Gerogery compost facility

RISING community concerns about the establishment of a compost facility at Gerogery will be aired at a public meeting tonight.

Transpacific Clean-away is proposing to build the facility, which will be the dumping point for organic waste from nearby councils, Albury, Wodonga and Corowa, on land used for farming.

Opponents are concerned it will drastically alter the local environment by creating odour and increased traffic issues.

A development application was lodged with Greater Hume Council last month and the deadline for objections is on Monday.

Mike Scollard, a Gerogery resident for 60 years, and Ian Coghlan share the same road leading to the site identified for the facility.

Mr Scollard said a public meeting was the best way to test the feeling of locals.

“I just think it changes the make-up of the area,” he said.

“All of a sudden we have an industry coming into a rural area.

“On top of that you have an odour problem.”

Mr Scollard said Cleanaway was aware of the meeting but was unsure whether anyone from the company would attend.

Cleanaway held an information meeting in Gerogery in August which attempted to hose down community concerns.

Greater Hume Council hasn’t signed up to use the facility and is not expected to make the final decision on whether it gets approval.

Council general manager Steve Pinnuck said yesterday due to the project costing $8.5 million it would be determined by a Joint Regional Planning Panel.

The panel is not expected to meet until early next year.

Mr Coughlan said the facility would be detrimental to the local area.

“It is a beautiful area and it is prime agricultural land,” he said.

“I understand the argument no one wants it in their backyard but it seems to me to be an inappropriate location and it will have an odour.

“You spend a lot of your life looking for what you think is an idyllic place.

“Why would you be transporting all that waste further north than any of the collection points?

“Unless there is a longer-term plan to also bring in waste from Wagga?”

Greater Hume councillors have been invited to attend the meeting at the Gerogery hall at 7pm.

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