Concerned residents had a meeting at Monkey Creek cafe in January.
Residents who want to comment on a proposal to move thousands of waste-carrying trucks over the Mountains to an old quarry past Bell have until March 20 to make a submission.
The plan to rehabilitate the old quarry would see approximately 1.2 million cubic metres of fill trucked from Sydney along the Great Western Highway or via Bells Line of Road to Bell, when it would be moved along Sandham Road to Newnes Junction.
There was a community meeting about the quarry DA a week ago at Clarence RFS Shed attended by around 60 locals including members of the local RFS brigades.
Councillors from all three affected councils attended: Blue Mountains Cr Kerry Brown, Lithgow Crs Mayor Ray Thompson, Deputy Mayor Wayne McAndrew and Cr Steve Ring and Hawkesbury Cr John Ros.
Greens candidate for Blue Mountains Kingsley Liu and Labor candidate for Bathurst Beau Rile also attended, as did Blue Mountains Conservation Society vice-president Don Morrison.
Bell resident and retired truck driver owner Kaye Whitbread said that the DA would allow a truck to pass along Sandham Road nine metres from her bedroom window every nine minutes all day from 7am to 6pm.
“The noise and dust will be unbearable. Most of the road is unsealed. The dust will cover everything and we only have tank water out here to wash with. I won’t even be able to sell my property.”
All five councillors spoke against the DA and urged everyone to make a submission.
Councillor Steven Ring who moved the unanimous motion for Lithgow Council to oppose the DA last week said that the council had been “pushing back waste from Sydney for 40 years. This is not a precedent we want to set. Once it starts they will be trucking out waste to fill every old mine in Lithgow.”
Mayor Ray Thompson said that bushfire concerns were also a major factor. “We know we are going to have another fire. We will need that water in the quarry again.”
Cr Brown said that contaminated fill was a major issue.
“Last month a random blitz by the Environmental Protection Agency revealed widespread overloading and illegal disposal of waste by the trucking industry. In my experience as a gardener and councillor, contaminated fill is always finding its way into sites illegally.
“A few weeks ago our council discovered 300 tonnes of fill recently trucked into Springwood Golf Course had asbestos contamination.”
Hawkesbury Cr John Ros said that he and Cr Danielle Wheeler would propose Hawkesbury Council also make a submission opposing the DA.
Cr Ros said: “We do not want any risks to the water quality for our farmers. There is also the impact of traffic, noise and safety from more heavy trucks on the Bells Line of Road.”
Submissions should be made to Lithgow Council (email@example.com), which is considering the DA because Newnes is in its local government area. But because the proposal is defined as a regional development, it will ultimately be determined by a Joint Regional Planning Panel, not council.
FROM THE HAWKESBURY COURIER: HIGH RISK OF CONTAMINATION TO THE BLUE MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK: LETTER OF OBJECTION
View bottom righthand corner for details on where to send your letter of objection: