Compost opponents take in Killara sights, smells

OPPONENTS of a compost plant to be built at Gerogery have conducted a fact-finding mission to a similar operation at Killara in the lead-up to another public meeting on the contentious issue.

Gerogery and Table Top residents are fighting a Transpacific Cleanaway plan to establish a dumping point for waste from four councils on what is prime agricultural land.

They were joined on the visit to the Greenchip plant at Killara by Greater Hume mayor Heather Wilton and councillors Tony Quinn, Stuart Heriot and Doug Meyer. The Killara plant is under fire from residents about odour problems.

Gerogery resident Ian Coghlan said the inspection had provided a valuable insight into what the Greater Hume Council could expect.

“We saw the compost of materials and smelt the odour,” he said.

“It gave us insight into the process, in particular the heat required to compost materials.

“The Gerogery development application has alarm bells going off everywhere.

“They relate to odour, water contamination and fire risk.”

Mr Coghlan said residents also had concerns about neighbouring councils dumping waste in a shire that had not signed up to the $8.5 million venture.

“Economically it does not make sense to cart bulk waste product from four shires to the south and west,” he said.

“They are talking up to 120 truck movements a day.”

The latest meeting will be held at the Gerogery Hall on Thursday.

The Joint Regional Planning Panel will then meet at the hall a week later to test reaction to the proposal, before ruling by mid-year on the project.

Hume general manager Steve Pinnuck yesterday said Cleanawy would be asked for more information about the application it lodged last year.

He said questions ranged from “how some materials would be handled on site to traffic flows”.

“The formal panel determination will take place at a later date,” he said.

“It will want a bit of time to digest what the community is saying.”

The council hasn’t made a submission to the panel.

“It will consider their position after the assessment report has been completed,” Mr Pinnuck said.

The panel is chaired by former MP Pam Allen. Former Greater Hume mayor Denise Osborne and staff member Brad Peach are also taking part in the final assessment.