Growing progress against plant

Council had rejected the original application from WA Limestone on behalf of Ransberg for the concrete batching plant at 277-279 Collier Road in 2011.

The application included building three 19-metre silos, 16 storage bins and retaining walls on the general industry site near homes, schools and the Joan Rycroft Reserve.

WA Limestone took the matter to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT), which granted planning approval �, with a number of stringent conditions imposed to control dust and noise emissions � in July 2014.

Amended plans were submitted to the City in January 2015. Council rejected them at its May 26 meeting.

The plans included the re-design of the sand and aggregate delivery and storage system to a mostly enclosed system with underground aggregate delivery bins and above-ground storage bins enclosed in a 12m high building.

Amendments also included the addition of a concrete aggregate recycling unit, and one cement storage silo resulting in a total of four silos.

Local resident Jamie Petrovic, who has 14 years� experience in the concrete industry, and former Bayswater councillor Sally Palmer have led the four-year campaign against the proposed plant with their concerns of noise, heavy vehicle traffic, close proximity to residence and health risks from pollution.

Mr Petrovic said community members and council did not want it.

�Silica dust is so harmful to the environment and everyone in its path,� he said. �With support from council, my faith in the system has been restored.

�Hearing council�s decision felt like we had won; not the war but part of the battle.�

Ms Palmer said she was grateful councillors insisted on going back to common sense and logic and that this proposal would put a polluted business next door to residences.

�Cement is cement, you can�t change it, you can�t treat it,� she said.

�The pollution that is wafting through the area on the other side of the road affects the community, now a polluter is wanting to be right beside them because that company is there.

�You can�t compound pollution.�

Council stands firm

BAYSWATER councillors are continuing to fight for the community after voting unanimously at their May meeting against amendments to the proposed concrete batching plant on Collier Road.

Councillor Barry McKenna moved an amendment opposing officers’ recommendations to reject the proposed modifications.

He made a passionate speech about defending residents and ratepayers, and declared that the matter should be taken to the Supreme Court if necessary.

�SAT is not the be-all and end-all, it’s a yes/no decision, not a compromise,� Cr McKenna said.

�There are some things that residents ask us to fight for; we have to stand up for them. There is no credence to what SAT says.

�No means no.�

Chief executive officer Francesca Lafante said the applicant could again appeal to SAT against council’s decision.

Cr John Rifici said that if State authorities rejected council’s decision, then councillors would have to bear that. �But at least we have represented our ratepayers,� he said.

The council’s decision was applauded by gallery members.

The City of Bayswater has spent more than $110,000 in legal fees and more than $14,000 in air quality consultants to defend community and council’s opposition.

Bayswater MLA Lisa Baker, who has campaigned against the plant since 2011, also praised the decision.

Ms Baker said she supported the hard work of local residents including Jamie Petrovic and former councillor Sally Palmer to expose the community’s concerns about having this plant built close to their homes.

�Current councillors Terry Kenyon, Barry McKenna and Chris Cornish have stood behind their community to achieve this outcome,� she said. �I hope that this is the end of a long journey.�

�Travesty of good sense�

A WA LIMESTONE spokeswoman has called the Bayswater Council�s decision to reject revised plans for the concrete batching plant at 277-279 Collier Road a travesty of good planning and common sense.

The spokeswoman said the council�s decision went against the expert advice of its own officers and Planning and Development Committee, which unanimously supported the amendments.

�WA Premix is committed to this project and will be appealing this latest decision at the SAT as a matter of urgency to ensure the best possible plant is constructed,� she said.

According to the spokeswoman the council rejected a �best-practice� plant.

�Council�s decision was solely whether to accept or not an amendment to the existing approval for an amended plant design,� she said.

�The proposed design is environmentally superior and more efficient with no increase in size or production proposed.

�Residents should be appalled by this decision and that more ratepayers� money will now be spent defending this poor decision.�

The spokeswoman said WA Limestone had invested significant time and resources, including experts tasked with investigating best-practice plant design and operating protocols.

�The aim has always been to come up with the best outcome for all stakeholders,� she said.

�There are many such plants located in Perth�s industrial areas but none with all the best-practice features or strict planning conditions of the plant proposed for this site.�

WA Premix is not a subsidiary of WA Limestone but both companies share common directors and management.