NEW doubt has been cast over plans to turn part of the Tomerong Quarry into a tip, amid questions over ownership of the quarry land.
During Monday’s public meeting called by the Southern Joint Regional Planning Panel, several members of the local indigenous community raised concerns about not being consulted over the tip plans.
The quarry and tip are on the Bellfields property granted to the McLeod family as one of the first Aboriginal land claims awarded in the state, and Darren McLeod signed off on the application.
Other members of the indigenous community attending the meeting said they did not agree with the decision, with Richard Campbell saying it showed “cynical disregard for our cultural and spiritual values”.
Mr Campbell said he was able to trace his family in the region back to the mid-1800s, but despite such a long, historic connection with the land at Tomerong there had been no consultation with him or his family.
The comments were endorsed by elders including Tom Butler and Laddie Timbery.
Former South Coast MP John Hatton said not only was there no consultation about the proposal to tip up to 100,000 tonnes of non-putrescible rubbish a year, but also no notification to the region’s traditional owners, who included members of the Nye, Campbell, Butler, Brown and Timbery families.
“And yet he signed off without consultation with any of them,” Mr Hatton said.
“No way in the world can Darren McLeod sign off on the use of that land for the Tomerong tip.”
Mr Hatton said the range of cases and arguments put forward by community members in opposing the tip proposal was “astonishingly good”.
Submissions made during the meeting even took on the preliminary approval given by the Department of Climate Change and Water, and “shot so many holes in their so-called environmental study as to make their preliminary approval a nonsense,” Mr Hatton claimed.
The panel is expected make a decision on the tip application in October.