WORRIED Gerogery residents last night spoke out forcefully against a proposed compost centre in their town.
More than 80 people packed the town’s small hall and 15 people had their concerns heard by the Joint Regional Planning Panel.
Panel chairwoman, former MP Pam Allen, limited speakers to three minutes to ensure more people had a chance to speak.
All but one of the speakers was strongly against building the $8.5 million facility in Gerogery.
The speakers ranged from town planners and compost scientists to farmers and concerned community members.
In a surprise, Indigo councillor and Rutherglen resident Don Chambers spoke about the importance of compost and organic waste.
“Food organics is something that Australia has to come to grips with,” the Keep Australia Beautiful chairman said.
“Your dilemma is that there is this project to put it in your backyard.”
Mr Chambers’ speech prompted a man not on the original speakers’ list to have his say.
The Gerogery resident said his town was “not against green waste but we are against where the green waste will go”.
That closing line received loud applause from the passionate audience.
The company that lodged the development application for the compost, Transpacific Cleanaway, did not have a representative at the meeting.
It has said that it was against company policy to attend public meetings.
The five-strong panel, which was made up of, among others, former Greater Hume mayor Denise Osborne and staff member Bradley Peach, listened intently for more than an hour.
The main arguments that emerged against the compost centre were that it raised the threats of water contamination, foul odour and fire.
Strong opponents of the application Mike Scollard and Ian Coghlan also spoke.
Mr Scollard’s main concern was to do with the increase of traffic that would happen in Gerogery if the centre was to be built.
The panel will deliberate before announcing its decision.