Plant approval concerns residents

Saskia AdystiAlbany Advertiser
Concerned Rocky Crossing Road residents.
Camera IconConcerned Rocky Crossing Road residents. Credit: Picture: Laurie Benson, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Willyung and Warrenup residents are rallying to stop an asphalt plant being built in their neighbourhood.

The concerned residents say the asphalt plant, which has been approved by the City of Albany for Lot 104, Rocky Crossing Road, could cause health problems and reduce property prices.

Resident and health practitioner Richard Turner said hazardous chemicals commonly used at asphalt plants were a significant health risk.

“The reality is nobody wants to live next to a plant for good reason,” Dr Turner said.

“The health aspects are significant. There are papers that record increase cancer of the renal system and bowel cancer ... leukaemia.”

Another Willyung resident, Alison Sharp, said she was also concerned about noise pollution in the neighbourhood once the plant was fully operational.

“It’s going to be operating from 7am to 5pm and it’s going to be constant flow of traffic and noise,” she said.

“We’re not sure if we should even upgrade the house any longer because it might not be worth it.”

The group approached the City of Albany about the decision earlier this year.

However City executive director of Development Services Paul Camins said health risks had been analysed by the City and relevant State departments.

“The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation further assessed any risks associated with the development application, which was also referred to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and Main Roads,” he said.

“None of these agencies raised any significant concerns during these processes and provided conditions for the proposal, which include the proponent obtaining separate environmental approval.”

The scheme amendment for the asphalt plant was given the green light by the Albany council in 2015.

The development plan was modified last year for the WA Planning Commission, and all properties within a 1km radius of the proposed plant were notified and invited to make submissions.

Dr Turner said that was when he became aware of the proposed asphalt plant and sent his letter of opposition to the council.

“I think the whole thing was poorly advertised. I was the only one sending a letter to the council about it and most of my neighbours didn’t even know about the plant until I told them,” he said.

Mr Camins said the proposed asphalt plant was much smaller in scale compared to a nearby asphalt plant that had been operating since 1973.

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