By Jeremy Sollars
Lawyers acting for the Southern Downs Regional Council over the controversial GrainX site at Allora have interviewed residents adjacent to the site and are preparing a report, which the locals are concerned could take months to complete.
As reported in the Free Times, the council has engaged legal representation to take GrainX to task over its alleged failure to comply with development conditions relating to tree planting around the Herbert Street facility and residents’ concerns over noise and dust.
Lawyers from Brisbane firm Connor O’Meara and council engineers and officers interviewed Allora residents within the last week, asking about impacts from GrainX, including truck movements.
The Free Times understands Connor O’Meara will conduct its own independent noise and air quality assessments as the council is reported to be dissatisfied with the assessments carried out by consultants Pacific Environmental, engaged some eight months ago by GrainX.
One resident, who declined to be named, said that “as usual Grainx was quieter than usual before they all turned up”.
“I got the impression that the report to be given to council will take two or three months – dust alone will take two months.”
Southern Downs Regional Council chief executive officer David Keenan confirmed to the Free Times that “council’s legal representatives have interviewed members of the community (and) a report will be presented to council in due course.”
The lawyers’ interviews come as community concern in Allora rises over two other potentially noxious industries near the town, in the form of a chicken hatchery and a cattle feedlot.
Darwalla Poultry has approval for a hatchery on Bradfields Road just out of town, which would have the capacity at full development to house one million hatchlings.
Work has just started on the site with builders’ dongas and containers having been moved on.
The Free Times contacted Darwalla for comment, but no response had been received by time of printing. However, the company had previously said it aimed to have the first stage of the hatchery operational by November this year.
Residents have previously raised concerns over the potential for contamination of Dalrymple Creek and underground water supplies with effluent from the hatchery.
Meanwhile, on the other side of town on Warfields Road, landowners Layton and Sharalyn Free have applied to the council for approval to develop a 3500-head cattle feedlot.
The operation would cover nearly 10 hectares, and the site is located just under seven kilometres from Allora.
The plan is currently on display and open for submissions at the Warwick council offices.