THE community group opposed to Tomerong Tip and councillors are preparing a united front to the looming Joint Regional Planning Panel meeting next week.
Former Shoalhaven City councillor Richard Bates and fellow anti-tip campaigner Peter Allison were invited to the council table during Monday night’s meeting of Shoalhaven City Council’s regional development committee.
The unprecedented move made recognition of the huge amount of work put in by members of protest group Shoalhaven’s Unwanted Tip (ShUT) as they fight to stop plans for a huge tip in part of the Tomerong Quarry.
The JRPP is meeting on October 21 to decide the application’s fate, and will consider submissions from council and ShUT.
Regional Development Committee chair, Cr Gareth Ward, will also make a presentation to the panel, expanding on council’s submission.
A staff investigation into the proposal, put forward by Tomerong Waste and consultants Watkinson Apperley, found 10 points on which the application was deemed unacceptable.
They included insufficient information on whether the hazardous components of the development pose a risk to the environmentally sensitive location; and concerns about leachate contaminating the surface and groundwater tables.
The staff report also said the trucks would provide an unacceptable impact on local roads, while the proposal was an unsuitable use of the land, and was not in the public interest.
ShUT representatives went even further.
Addressing the council meeting, Mr Bates said the Tomerong Quarry had repeatedly breached operational restrictions, as evidenced by fines imposed.
That included building a second dam on the site which “appears to have been built illegally,” Mr Bates said.
He said an application to build the dam was lodged and then withdrawn, yet the dam was still built in 2004 or 2005, but members could find no approval for the dam.
That dam played a key role in the tip proposal, Mr Bates said, and allowing the tip to proceed “relies on benefiting from past illegal activity”.
“There’s a very real chance this is being put forward as a dump site for slag from the Port Kembla Authority,” Mr Bates said.
“What toxic substances are in the slag?” he asked.