ON Monday, a motion was put before Council for a new waste management transfer station in Murrurundi go on public exhibition for 28 days. After people have had their say, a report will come back to Council with the feedback.
Why I voted against the motion:
I completely understand the current waste facility needs to be rehabilitated, but I am concerned about locating the transfer station on the Old Showground and I’d like to see other alternatives which were part of the community consultation.
The reasons I see listed for having it there, flat piece of ground within the township, I see as the reasons not to have it there. All of our towns are growing and we’ve seen the steady stream of people making a tree change to Murrurundi. It’s a gorgeous town full of beautiful historical buildings, artistic flare and residents who take care pride in their lawns and gardens and it’s little wonder it has rated so highly as a Tidy Town.
But it is a town, which is also flanked by mountains and in the future that may become an issue for expanding. This situation reminds me of a discussion with my late grandfather when we were talking about the tip in Scone and he quipped that the tip had the best views of town and they ruined it. He recalled when the land was vacant, before the meatworks and tip were there and said neither should have been approved to go there as it would stop the town expanding through that area and they should have put them the other side of Scone Mountain. But at the time when it was approved, it was for convenience. Every time I go up to the tip or to Scone Mountain I look at the view and think he was right.
I don’t want us to look back in Murrurundi and think why didn’t we locate the transfer station somewhere else when we had the chance? I understand it may be convenient in terms of it being land Council already owns, it’s flat and easy to access, but I think we need to consider if we will regret it in years to come.
Cr Sue Abbott also voted against the motion and asked if the rehabilitation of the current waste site could be managed in a way that would allow rehab to progress, while accommodating the transfer station, or relocate the transfer station there after the rehabilitation. However, it was advised that wouldn’t be practical and the current site topography was also problematic.
Cr Abbott also had concerns that the land is currently classified as community land and by putting the transfer station there, the land would then become classified as operational land. Cr Abbott was incredibly disappointed when the Scone Library was sold without public consultation because it had become operational land and it didn’t need to go out for consultation. If this becomes operational land, the Council wouldn’t be legally required to consult with the community on its sale; although I believe there is an ethical obligation to do so.
Cr Abbott argued that the Old Showground, while not currently used, was important to the history of the town. And I believe it is also important to the future of the town.
Cr Adam Williamson also voted against the motion. In fairness, Councillors who voted for the motion were not necessarily in support of the transfer station going there, but for the proposal to go on public display for community feedback.
So, while I have many reservations about the transfer station being located on the Old Showground, I am now all ears to hear what the community thinks about the proposal and I encourage everyone to make a submission, so that the report which comes back to us clearly tells us what people want.
How to weigh in on the Transfer Station:
- Take the simple online survey: https://bit.ly/3ogei1i
- Make a written submission – phone Council for details: 6540 1100.
- Submissions close: Wednesday, march 2, 2022.