Dust concerns continue

Mr Logan gathered the sample from the outdoor furniture and window sills of a resident’s home, following a spike in odour and dust complaints in the area late last year.

It has been passed on to the City of Cockburn for testing.

“Given that Cockburn Cement closed down their cement operations in January 2015, I will be very surprised if it is cement dust, but it is important that we have the material checked and confirm one way or another,” Mr Logan said.

Cockburn’s environmental health manager Nick Jones said the aim of the test was to determine how much lime and cement were in the sample.

“The city cannot as yet confirm when the results will be available,” he said.

“More samples may need to be collected in order to determine an accurate result.”

The battle between Cockburn Cement’s Munster facility and the surrounding community has been ongoing for years, with the company spending significant money to address public concerns. That included $46 million spent on dust filters for two lime kilns.

Dust complaints had been low for most of 2015, but there was a significant spike in November.

A Cockburn Cement spokeswoman said its plant was near other industries, market gardens, unsealed areas and new residential developments, meaning there could be any number of reasons for the spike.

“The number of complaints received in November 2015 was down on the corresponding period the previous year,” she said.

“All dust complaints were investigated and determined unlikely to be from Cockburn Cement.”

To round out 2015, Mr Logan also wrote to Environment Minster Albert Jacob following an increase in odour issues.

In response, Mr Albert said an investigation suggested the bad smell could come from more than one source.

“The Department of Environment Regulation has subsequently commenced a formal investigation into the reports of odour emissions in the area with a view to identifying the reason for the increase,” he said in a letter to Mr Logan. Cockburn Cement will host a forum in Yangebup on February 9. A location is yet to be confirmed.

The company will talk about its odour studies and changes to the Munster plant.

Yangebup Progress Association president Chontelle Sands said it would be a good chance for the public to ask some questions directly to the company.