Nicole Atkinson was overcome with emotion as she spoke about Jerrara Power's plans for a waste to energy plant just 50 metres from her property's boundary.
The Bungonia woman admitted she had stepped back from reading too much about the $600 million proposal for her health's sake.
Mrs Atkinson fears the plan will jeopardise everything she and her family has put into their Jerrara Road horse training business over the past 20 years.
"This proposal has caused a lot of sleepless nights and worry for all my family," she said.
"I mean no disrespect to anyone when I say this, but I believe that we are in a different situation to everyone else in this fight. We are surrounded by this monstrosity."
Mrs Atkinson was one of 15 speakers at Goulburn Mulwaree Council's meeting on Thursday night. It was convened to discuss Jerrara Power's request for secretary's environmental requirements (SEARS) from the state government for the proposed facility at 974 Jerrara Road.
The council opposes the project and is preparing to challenge the state government in the NSW Land and Environment Court if SEARS are issued.
Mrs Atkinson said she and her family had invested in infrastructure, including a 13-horse barn, aquasiser shed in the hope of operating a rehabilitation centre, shelter boxes, sand and trotting track and much more over the years. She and her husband live in one house with their three children and her father in another home on the property.
The couple had always planned for their children to take over the operation one day.
"While I understand that everyone runs the risk of over-capitalising on their property, we never planned or dreamed that we would have to leave there," she told the meeting.
"...This is our home, we love it, we love the open scenery and rural vistas. Our entire livelihood is at this property.
"On finding out about the power station that will adjoin our property on two sides it is fair to say that we were gutted. The property we have built and loved now stands to be ruined. The mental anguish this has placed on us is enormous and we are scared about what the future may hold for us."
Mrs Atkinson said she was astounded to learn that Jerrara Power had marked her holding as a buffer zone on its maps. She questioned how this could be the case when it didn't own the land.
She told councillors that Jerrara Power had approached her to sell her land "for a song," with the amount being "laughable." While she did not want to sell, she called for at least "adequate compensation" for anyone affected.
The company's managing director Chris Berkefeld denied that the company had ever used the term 'buffer zone' and said he couldn't comment on confidential negotiations.
The company's scoping report lists two rural residential properties within 500 metres of the plant and six within 1km. But a council report stated a poultry farm was also within 500 metres along with other "sensitive agricultural uses, not to mention the Bungonia National Park and Pomaderris Nature Reserve.
Jerrara Power hopes to incinerate up to 330,000 tonnes of mostly Sydney waste annually and convert it into 30 megawatts of power for the grid. The waste would comprise residual municipal, commercial and industrial material.
Mrs Atkinson feared fly-ash would contaminate soils and water, including that for her horses and in household tanks. She cited potential loss of income, traffic impacts from 50 trucks daily, toxins, odour, light and noise pollution and the possibility of "mishaps" at the site as key concerns. The council has also called for the EIS to include a disaster management plan.
Mr Berkefeld has rejected the claim there would be airborne toxins and odour, as it was a fully enclosed system. Waste delivered to the site would also be stored indoors. Moreover, the EPA had to sign off on the plan and they would not permit airborne toxins, he said.
It does not appease Mrs Atkinson who predicted property values would "plummet" as a result of the plan. Selling hers was "no longer viable."
"Who would want to buy (it) knowing what is planned around us. My family's livelihood is at stake," she said.
Calls for detailed assessments
Skye Ward echoed many of these concerns and said like many in the room, had been "riddled with worry over the past two to three months" about her 110-year-old family home, financial livelihood and family heritage. She and husband Dave run 2500 fine wool merinos on their property, Spring Ponds, located 2km from Jerrara Power's site.
She pointed out that the company's scoping report stated 'standard assessments' for aspects like property and land use, amenity and character, health and well being, but others such as economy, employment and business would undergo 'detailed assessments.'
"Given the definition of a detailed assessment is for projects that may result in significant social impacts, this categorisation, to me, seems disingenuous and could result in skewing of the results and alleged benefits of the proposal," Mrs Ward said.
The meeting also heard from Jerrara Action Group member Leisha Cox-Barlow who argued the scoping report had minimised the human impact.
"We are hidden in a key, a code if you wish, and we are labelled 'sensitive receivers,'" she said.
"Bungonia has more than 367 'sensitive receivers' as per the 2016 census. Each and every one (of those) should be state significant...Our health and well being should count for something."
Mrs Cox-Barlow also called for greater consideration of aboriginal heritage in the area.
Windellama SES member David Stenson suggested Kurnell was a better option for the company, with access to water, the road network, fire suppression and more.
Social ecologist and environmental consultant Danielle Marsden-Ballard spoke about the potential environmental impact of toxins and emissions and described waste incineration as "the worst possible outcome of a dysfunctional" system.
The council has submitted a comprehensive list of factors to be considered in detail if the SEARS progress.
We care about what you think. Have your say in the form below and if you love local news don't forget to subscribe.