Opponents of the landfill site proposed by waste disposal company SITA Australia, at Allawuna Farm about 18 kilometres west of York, are mounting an all out effort to stop the development going ahead.

As part of an ongoing campaign the Avon Valley Residents Association is urging a big turnout at a special meeting of the York Shire Council in the town hall on February 4. The meeting is to consider a recommendation concerning the planning application from SITA for the dump.

A preliminary assessment by the Shire was required to determine if the proposal was consistent, may be consistent or not consistent with the objectives of the General Agriculture zone.  The report and recommendation to Council is that the proposal for lots 4869, 5931, 9926 & 26932 (2948) Great Southern Highway, St Ronans, 'may be consistent' with the objectives of the General Agriculture zone in accordance with Clause 3.2.4(b) of the York Town Planning Scheme No. 2 and that the advertising procedures in Clause 8.3 should be followed.  

The Shire received the planning application on December 17 last year. In accordance with the Planning and Development (Development Assessment Panels Regulations 2011), the application will be decided by the Wheatbelt Joint Development Assessment Panel.

SITA has submitted its application in the category ‘use not listed' because the proposed site is not specifically mentioned in the zoning table and does not fit any other use or activity covered in the town planning scheme. It is also outside the classification of 'Industry – Noxious', or 'Industry – Extractive‘, as landfill is not an industry as defined by the scheme.

Those campaigning against development want the planning application to run through the full process of examination by the Council and the community. "Any other course will see the application bypass this process," according to AVRA.

The report to the Council said that it could be argued that the proposed landfill was not consistent with the goals of the Community Strategic Plan and would require further consideration during the full assessment of the application. "There is also no guarantee or evidence that some or any of the labour, transport or materials will be sourced from York, particularly considering the location of the site and accessibility to Midland and Perth,"  the report said.

"Landfills have environmental impacts ... "As this is a preliminary report on land use permissibility, the environmental impacts have not been fully assessed or considered. "At the time of writing the Office of the Appeals Convenor had not made a decision on the EPA‘s decision not to assess (the environmental impacts of) the proposal," the report said.

A significant concern to the wider community is the extra traffic that it would bring to the narrow, winding and in places, rough section of Great Southern Highway between Allawuna Farm and Great Eastern Highway at The Lakes.  It is understood that there would be 24 return trips a day by road trains carrying waste from Perth and mean an extra three trucks each way per hour on the road.

Lindsay McNeill