Anger over plastic factory vote

Anger over plastic factory vote

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Serpentine Jarrahdale Ratepayers Association spokesperson Alan Clarkson and Cardup resident Karina Baker together with many residents are concerned about Wormall Civil’s plastic production workshop and warehouse. Photograph – Richard Polden.

The Cardup Business Park will make way for a plastic production workshop and warehouse after Serpentine Jarrahdale shire councillors voted to approve the application at a council meeting last month.

The applicant, Wormall Civil Pty Ltd, will be required to abide by 23 conditions which, according to the shire’s director of development services Andre Schonfeldt, will require “ongoing testing to ensure the operation is both safe and orderly”.

Mr Schonfeldt said the site, which is located at Lot 41, 17 Cardup Siding Road, will be stringently monitored to ensure constant compliance with all conditions imposed.

“This is an important matter for the shire and we have not made any decisions without full and open discussion with the community and in consultation with regulatory authorities,” he said.

“In considering this application the shire sought advice from relevant government agencies and independent experts to prioritise and protect community health and safety.

“Based on independent technical reports and the feedback from expert government agencies, the shire could find no grounds for refusing the application.”

Mr Schonfeldt said the application was referred twice to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, which had no objection.

A further step was taken to self-refer the application to the Environmental Protection Authority, which advised it was unlikely to have any significant environmental impact.

More than a dozen concerned residents filled the public gallery to hear the decision at council last month with many storming out of the council offices after the verdict was heard.

Cardup resident Karina Baker said she felt the group had been let down by the shire.

“This park has gone from being a home centre in 2014 to where we find ourselves today, firstly with transport, then concrete and now plastics manufacturing,” she said.

“All we can do now is hope that the company does the right thing to alleviate our concerns and stick to the conditions without using the State Administrative Tribunal to dilute them down.”

Three councillors echoed the residents concerns with councillor Bill Denholm speaking against the motion and questioning whether there was somewhere else in the shire more suitable for the plant.

Councillors Dave Atwell, Rob Coales and Shire President Michelle Rich spoke for the motion, although they said they did feel empathy and understand the feelings of the community.