Landfill application ‘puzzles’ residents

SITA has lodged a works approval application for its landfill site 18km west of York.
SITA has lodged a works approval application for its landfill site 18km west of York.

The application will be advertised for public consultation from Monday and residents will have 21 days to provide comment to the department.

Avon Valley Residents Association chairman Keith Schek-kerman said news of the works approval application came as a surprise to many residents and Shire of York councillors.

‘It is puzzling; neither the council nor the Minister knew about it,’ Mr Schekkerman said.

Robyn and Kay Davies, neighbouring farmers to the proposed landfill site, said they opposed the development because of its potential environmental impacts, including possible water contamination.

‘We are unhappy with SITA’s continual changing of information and figures stated,’ Kay said.

Comments on the works approval application will be limited to matters that fall within the scope of the DER’s jurisdiction, including emissions and discharges to land, air and water.

A spokesperson from the DER said it could start assessment of the application, but could not make a decision until current appeals associated with the Environmental Protection Authority’s decision were resolved.

‘The DER understands that planning approval also needs to be obtained prior to development commencing,’ the spokesperson said.

‘If all the relevant approvals are obtained prior to commencing operations, prescribed premises need to demonstrate compliance with the works approval.

‘The applicant must also obtain an operating licence from the DER.’

Environment Minister Albert Jacob made a decision on appeals to the EPA on Thursday.

He formed the view that the EPA’s decision was justified and that environmental issues could be considered under Part V of the Act without the need for assessment by the EPA.

The minister also noted that, should a works approval, licence or clearing permit be issued, anyone who is aggrieved by the conditions applied by the DER has the right to lodge an appeal under the Act.