Councillor questions dump site
SOUTHERN Downs council should have consulted with northern Granite Belt residents before selecting a site for its new waste transfer station, a councillor says.
Vic Pennisi, councillor for Stanthorpe, said he supported a different location for the site.
Construction on the Northern Granite Belt Waste Transfer Station started last week.
The upgrade to the existing station is set to cost ratepayers $850,000 and is due for completion later this year.
The new complex will carry more than 10 times the capacity of the original facility.
"Our waste management strategy identifies that most - and more than likely all - of the current northern Granite Belt transfer stations will close and be serviced by one new and improved (station)," CrPennisi said.
"(Therefore) it is important that significant consultation with stakeholders occurs.
"I personally would have liked to have entered into a broader conversation with existing affected stakeholders before selecting a site.
"Personally, I believe something that was located more central to the total service area would have been more appropriate."
The Southern Downs Region Waste Reduction and Recycling Plan - 2014 indicated unsupervised facilities could be leading to illegal dumping and vandalism.
The plan suggested rationalising existing facilities to encourage behaviour "directed to waste minimisation" and steering people towards dumping at central stations like at Stanthorpe and The Summit.
"This decision is one that affects many landholders in perpetuity and as such I believe we have a moral obligation to ask them their views and include them during this journey," Cr Pennisi said.
Despite the waste reduction plan raising the idea of rationalisation, Southern Downs Regional Council environmental services manager Tim O'Brien said no immediate plans existed.
"At the current time, council has not decided that any waste facilities in the area of the northern Granite Belt will be closed," Mr O'Brien said.