Agency cracks down on Common Street

If not for the community, we doubt the Environment Protection Authority would have taken such a close interest in the Common Street waste facility.

Residents first approached Goulburn Mulwaree Council about the site last April when demolition waste was clearly building up.

Neighbour Kevin Peterson says he has put up with rats and vermin in his house next door since the onslaught.

The facility is unsightly, a blight on Goulburn and a running sore that residents should not have to endure. It’s highly unfortunate the zoning has allowed it.

The council approved the waste yard in 2001 and granted modifications in 2006 and 2011. That approval carries responsibility, namely policing consent conditions.

Yet Mr Peterson says he received no joy on that front when he initially complained. He has been shunted from one government agency to another in an attempt to get action.

The council clearly has a role to play on aspects of the operation. But it doesn’t have the resources to monitor consent conditions.

The EPA belatedly stepped to the fore to police the yard’s licence conditions, which is its role. 

Since seeing the waste for themselves, officers have been exemplary in their handling of the matter.

“The EPA has been very good to me,” Mr Peterson said on Friday.

Monitoring of waste build-up is welcome but we still believe there are too many loopholes.

Volumetric returns are required twice a year, otherwise the EPA relies on the company’s weighbridge and truck data.

More spot checks are warranted.

It’s been a stressful time for neighbours but hopefully things are on the right track now.

More often than not the community is the eyes and ears for policing of controversial developments.

The State Government has approved wind farms willy nilly without the resources to monitor strictly imposed conditions. The same has applied to quarries, notably Ardmore Park at Bungonia.

People should not have to endure the continued stress for what is essentially a government responsibility. 

The State has woken up only lately and employed more compliance officers for this region. Long may it continue.


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