Around 50 residents of Woombah and Iluka gathered to vent their frustration over the potential location of an asphalt plant in Woombah as part of the Pacific Highway upgrade.
Around 50 residents of Woombah and Iluka gathered to vent their frustration over the potential location of an asphalt plant in Woombah as part of the Pacific Highway upgrade. Jarrard Potter

'People power' prevails over asphalt plant site

THE president of the Woombah Residents Association has welcomed news of the relocation of the asphalt batching plant.

Last week the Roads and Maritime Service announced that a site at Mororo was chosen to supply asphalt for the Maclean and Devils Pulpit section of the Pacific Highway upgrade.

Woombah Residents Association president Kerry Wilsmore said that the Mororo site when compared to Harwood and Woombah, will have the least impact on residents and traffic flow on the much-travelled Iluka Road.

"Iluka Naturally and the bushland setting of Woombah will remain in its natural state without an inappropriate asphalt plant at its entrance," he said.

Mr Wilsmore said that an initial "poorly prepared" evaluation and communication program required the residents to demand a proper process be carried out.

"Without being political, Chris Gulaptis, did give the political oomph, along with Woombah and Iluka residents, to force the company to prepare a proper study to come up with the final three possible sites," he said.

The original site near the entrance to Woombah raised concerns with residents over dust and noise issues, traffic build-ups through the newly constructed intersection and proximity to nearby houses.

They said also that many people were not made aware of the proposal, and given very little time to respond.

Despite initially holding firm, after a public meeting with MP Chris Gulaptis, RMS chose three sites for the asphalt plant, and put them up for community consultation.

"Feedback was received from 126 people and organisations, raising 162 individual comments about 26 different topics," a RMS spokesperson said.

"Key topics raised by the community included local traffic impacts, air quality, noise, impacts to flora and fauna and management of groundwater, including during floods."

The spokesperson said the project team will start building the temporary asphalt batch plant at Mororo in December.



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