COMPTON residents have expressed their jubilation a quarry operator has dumped plans to discard deadly asbestos material into its Cafpirco Road facility.
The Sandyridge Holdings quarry operator has withdrawn its application with the state’s environmental watchdog following nearly a two-year fight by residents to stop the controversial proposal.
Grant District Council has also welcomed the decision given it rallied behind residents.
The quarry – which has been a dump site for hard waste for more than 35 years – is nestled in a popular rural living zone.
Cafpirco Road resident Tracey Lawrence yesterday described the outcome as a spectacular win for residents, the wider community and council.
“The phone call from The Border Watch was the best I have ever had – it is the best news,” Ms Lawrence said yesterday.
She said the outcome was a relief for residents who were fighting against their rural neighbourhood becoming a dumping ground for the cancer-causing material.
“I have lost a close family member to cancer and I have a husband and young kids. I worry this material would have drifted across people’s homes,” Ms Lawrence said.
“We bought land adjacent the quarry nearly three years ago to build a house, but we had to put everything on hold.
“It was something we were so excited about, but it turned into a nightmare.”
Praising Grant District Council for backing the residents in the legal fight, she revealed the issue had taken its toll on residents.
“Two years has felt like nearly 10 years. But the community support has been great,” the relieved resident said.
Greg Childs – who also lives near the quarry – “cautiously” welcomed the development as residents gathered at the site yesterday as the news filtered across the tight-knit rural community.
“But I would like to know some more details before I get too excited,” Mr Childs told The Border Watch.
The resident said he now hoped the lingering matter was “over and done with” and there were no new surprises.
Mr Childs said he was against the development given the health ramifications of being exposed to his toxic asbestos material as well as damage to the local community.
“It spelled disaster as far as property values and health concerns – there certainly have been unsettled times,”he said.
Fellow resident Debbie Neill echoed similar sentiments.
“Pretty much from my kitchen window I can see everything that goes on at the quarry,” Ms Neill said.
“I think it is disgusting the operator ever thought about dumping asbestos here.”
While she harboured some concerns about the future use of the site, she said the outcome was welcomed.
Debbie Prescott – who lives in the closest house to the quarry – said she wanted to see greater transparency about the site’s operation.
She particularly wanted to know whether Victorian rubbish was being transported to the site.
Local resident Heidi Smith – who lives further up the road – said she also wanted to learn what long-term plans the operator had for the site.
“I also want council to also understand things have changed out here and when these operations started, there were not as many people living out here,” Ms Smith argued.
“Things change and they need to be taken into consideration when these decisions are made.”
Resident Joanne Byrne said the outcome was good news for everybody in the area.
But residents queried why Grant District Council did not invite residents to this week’s meeting given it was included in the agenda and why they were not notified yesterday of the outcome.