Sutherland Concrete Batching Plant
|About this Item||Subjects||Environment; Pollution: Air; Sutherland Shire Council
||Speakers||Kerr Mr Malcolm; Deputy-Speaker
||Business||Private Members Statements
Mr KERR (Cronulla) [11.31 a.m.]: I agree with the honourable member for Wyong— obviously Gladys is one of the guns of August. Today I raise an important matter: the environment of the Sutherland shire and the need for a clean and safe environment. Previously I have referred to the fact that shire residents must put up with unpleasant smells because of the failure of the council and the State Government in relation to waste disposal. We now find that there is a serious proposal for a cement batching plant to operate within the shire, which is causing a great deal of consternation to my constituents and to businesses in the shire.
I am advised that Sutherland Shire Council has not yet acknowledged the effects that such a plant will have on the environment, on existing industry and on residential neighbourhoods. The environmental impact statement [EIS] clearly acknowledges that, for example, Tynan Motors will have a minimum of 50 times more cement dust than previously. The dust will enter the air stream regardless of the latest dust traps to be installed. There will be a stack structure 10 storeys high to house the mixing plant. The major industry investment of about $50 million in the vicinity of the proposed development will be unsustainable if cement dust products affect paint work, glass, rubber, interior trims, vehicle computer systems and braking components.
Residents with respiratory problems will be affected, and those who do not have respiratory problems now may find that they do have them in the future, given the effect of cement dust. Unfortunately cement dust forms an alkaline solution of a severely corrosive nature when mixed with moisture. As I said, it is a matter of great concern to both residents and businesses in the shire. If a number of businesses must move, who will pick up the costs of relocation and damages? Not only will the batching plant be an immediate threat; I am advised that heavy trucks are proposed to operate around the clock, seven days a week, in relation to the plant's operations. That is another matter of concern to my constituents.
I call upon the Minister for the Environment to refuse to grant a licence to enable the applicant to proceed at this time. I also call upon Labor members of Parliament in the shire to work together to ensure that the outcome is satisfactory. I point out to honourable members that the Victorian Environment Protection Authority has released environmental guidelines for the concrete batching industry, which are set out in appendix 1. The guidelines, which are freely available on the web as well as in hard documentation, contain an environmental performance check list for concrete batching plants. Sutherland shire has a Labor-controlled council with its shire watch allies. I ask all councillors to go through the check list when they determine whether approval should be granted. The check list includes:
Buffer zone: At least 100 metre buffer between plant and residential zone.
Winds: Bunkers located out of prevailing winds.
Access: Plant access minimises potential impacts on amenity.
Amenity: Batching plant does not detract from local amenity.
The list goes on. This matter should be of concern to all honourable members.
Mr DEPUTY-SPEAKER:Order! The honourable member for Cronulla is dealing with the operations of another chamber. Development applications are not usually dealt with in this way by this House. Past rulings indicate that he may be only marginally in order. I suggest that in future he should deal with the matter in a different way.
Mr KERR: I am grateful for the Chair's advice. Hopefully, this will be the last time I am marginalised.