Mayor?s vote counts

By EMMA CORNFORD

A BID to build a concrete batching plant and silo at James Creek has been rejected by the Clarence Valley Council.

The proposal split the council and the decision against the development was carried on the casting vote of the mayor Ian Tiley.

Councillors Terry Flanagan, Joy Mathews, Doug Mackenzie and mayor Tiley voted against the proposal calling for the installation of a batcher and a 55-tonne capacity cement silo about 100 metres from the bank of the creek.

"There are too many negatives with this development, which will severely impact on the pristine environment," Cr Mathews said.

"We need to be conscious of the footprint we're making on the environment and I don't think this would be a positive thing."

A plant of larger capacity was approved at the site in 1989, but council environment and planning manager Rob Donges said his department believed the area should be a 'designated development' zone because of its close proximity to the creek. That would mean applicants would have to include a comprehensive environmental impact statement with a proposal.

Cr Flanagan said: I'm not saying 'go away and don't come back' to this proposal, they just need to bring the whole thing up to speed.

"Environmental protection has moved in strides in the last quarter of a century ... and they need to come to us with an environmental impact statement that meets the standards and addresses all the environmental issues."

But Cr Kerry Lloyd said the plant should be approved because a bigger plant at the site had been given the go-ahead more than 10 years ago.

Cr Fred Morgan agreed, saying "I don't think it's fair to have a go at a battler and ... not allow something that will bring a lot of jobs to the region."



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