Residents firm against compost

Residents arrive at Gerogery Hall for the Land and Environment Court hearing. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSON

Residents arrive at Gerogery Hall for the Land and Environment Court hearing. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSON

NSW Land and Environment Court proceedings to determine the future of a proposed compost facility on farmland near Five Mates Bridge started in the Gerogery Hall yesterday.

An appeal was lodged late last year by Blueprint Planning on behalf of operator Transpacific Cleanaway after the rejection of the development application for the $8.5 million project by a regional planning panel.

Court commissioner Graham Brown and acting commissioner Ross Speers oversaw the hearing, where opposing parties including landowners and Greater Hume Shire representatives were among onlookers.

The hearing resumes in Sydney on Monday, with a final decision expected in a month.

The day included an inspection of the proposed site, owned by Roger Paterson and used for farming, quarry, accommodation and paintball.

A property owned by objector Michael Scollard was also inspected before a visit to Transpacific’s plant in Wodonga.

Landholders Margaret Pearce, Tanja Schramm-Trethowan, Ian Coghlan and Marion Taylor spoke against the proposal.

They raised concerns of odour, noise, groundwater contamination, disease, farmland degradation, property prices and traffic risks.

“If (they are) serious about the environment and people they should locate this facility closer to collection points,” Mr Coghlan said.

“Productivity and income of local landowners will be affected by spillage of toxic waste.”

Mrs Taylor said the development wasn’t in the public interest.

“It is only going to create four full-time jobs and no guarantee of local employment,” she said.

“All the people here will have an increased risk of accident.”

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