Dust is eroding trust

Cockburn Cement’s Brad Lemmon during last Tuesday’s community meeting.
Cockburn Cement’s Brad Lemmon during last Tuesday’s community meeting.

Research for the Dust Deposition Study was undertaken by the Munster-based company between January and March last year following complaints dust from the facility was making its way on to local homes, cars, and solar panels.

At a community meeting on Tuesday at the AMC Jakovich Function Centre, the public was told most dust problems were caused by dried lake beds, the peat fire burning in Wattleup and the large number of land developments.

�Cockburn Cement is located in an area where there are numerous industries, market gardens, unsealed areas and residential developments under construction,� a spokesman said.

�The Dust Deposition Study results confirm, through the analysis of dust samples, that the majority of dust is from sources other than Cockburn Cement.�

But locals, who were given a snapshot of its findings, want the report made public so they can run the rule over it for themselves.

Cockburn MLA Fran Logan said withholding the report was causing tension between the community and Cockburn Cement.

�The longer that Cockburn Cement keeps their dust surveys secret the less they�re going to be trusted in the community,� he said.

�People point to their cars, solar panels, roofs and say �This is your dust�.

�Cockburn Cement comes along, takes a sample and says �No it�s not�.

Mr Logan said the report should be presented in the same way Cockburn Cement presented its odour survey.

That was done by way of an extensive slide-show briefing, which showed how the company had collected 88,000 odour data points.

But Cockburn Cement looks unlikely to follow through on that request, or to release the findings as a whole.

�The information in the dust study needs to be interpreted with a solid understanding of the testing methodology and this would not be achieved if the data was released in its raw form,� a spokesman said.

One local said the report should be readily available.

�If you don�t have something to hide, then show it,� he said.