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SDRC awaits details on Grainx investigation

UNDER WRAPS: Southern Downs Regional Council is awaiting details of an investigation into possible dust and noise pollution breaches at Grainx before pursuing legal action against the business.
UNDER WRAPS: Southern Downs Regional Council is awaiting details of an investigation into possible dust and noise pollution breaches at Grainx before pursuing legal action against the business. Ben Wilmott

SOUTHERN Downs Regional Council will continue to investigate changes to zoning at Allora's Grainx facility despite a push to delay amendments.

Southern Downs Residents Action Group claims plans to amend the zoning at the controversial grains processing site would be a conflict of interest for the Southern Downs Regional Council, which last month announced it might pursue legal action against the business.

The council is awaiting results of an investigation by planning and environmental solicitors Connor O'Meara in relation to alleged environmental breaches in noise and dust levels at the Herbert St processor.

In a letter to Mayor Tracy Dobie, action group members stated they wished to place a moratorium on the rezoning process until the results of this investigation were made public.

Action group secretary Andrew Gale said members felt seeing the investigation results would enable them to make more informed submissions in opposition to the Grainx operations.

"We wanted to put the date back because we would like to have the results of the investigation as we believe they are intrinsically linked to the operations at Grainx and to future use of the area," Mr Gale said.

"We were disappointed that the mayor in response to another letter said the council was not in a position to respond to our inquiries about the use of methyl bromide, grain dust and dust suppression until investigations had been completed.

"I believe we are asking legitimate questions on the amenity of that area and we are concerned for residents' health in relation to the use of chemicals, dust and noise on the site.

"I don't think hiding behind this investigation is helpful while it appears there may be continued breaches occurring."

Cr Dobie said she had not been informed of when the investigation was expected to end.

"We have engaged legal representation to look at these issues at Grainx and we are waiting to see what they come back with," she said.

"As councillors we also won't see the public submissions until the report is prepared to go to the council (meeting).

"My response to the request for a moratorium on the planning scheme amendments was that it would be unfair to other submitters to the call out for public feedback and that process would continue," she said.

Residents have until Friday, March 31, to give feedback on planning scheme changes.

For more information, go to www.sdrc.qld.gov.au.

Topics:  allora grainx southern downs regional council southern downs residents action group


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