Southside roadworks gravel operation terrorising residents

STEPHEN Andrews is not a happy neighbour.

The Eel Creek resident lives across the road from a gravel operation that services Southside roadworks.

According to Mr Andrews, 25 years ago the area where the operation is situated was once part of the road reserve but it has become a noisy, dusty problem.

He said one of the biggest issues was sleep - some days the trucks begin work at 5am.

There have also been noise disruptions as a result of night work and he said dust is another concern.

"When they pull in and out, the dust streams across the house and settles on my roof and goes into my tank," Mr Andrews said.

"They cart a lot of the road base and other sources outside the shire; they bring it in with big tippers and then they dump it here and distribute it to the various jobs around the district. The tippers can be over there dumping a load and then all of a sudden there is a loud boom... you wake up straight away."

In an effort to make Gympie Regional Council aware of his concerns, Mr Andrews wrote a letter in November 2013, asking them to close the operation down.

He hoped his request to clean the area up and build barriers would be answered but he received no reply.

However, earlier this year he spoke with councillor for waste management Mick Curran and for a time the situation was rectified.

Since March, there had been no activity and Mr Andrews believed operations had ceased but work has begun again.

Mr Curran said the machinery was back in operation to lay asphalt to stop the dust problem Mr Andrews had complained about.

He said trees have also been put in place to help beautify the area.

But Mr Andrews believes his property has been de-valued due to his proximity to the gravel operation.

"I only have a few years to go before I have to sell out and go to a retirement village and nobody will want to buy this house with that going on," he said.

However, Mr Curran said the fact remains the operation has been there for 25 years and there are no other viable areas.

"Mr Andrews wants to sell and I understand his predicament but when first approached, the issue was dust," he said.

"We want to be good neighbours but we need to consider road work.

"It's the most cost-effective place to store bitumen to use in road works on Southside.

"If he isn't satisfied, we will stop work and move on."

Mr Andrews said he would write another letter if nothing more was done - this time to the ombudsman.

"I just want it stopped," he said.

In regards to noise complaints and night work, Mr Curran said the issue would be discussed and Mr Andrews would receive full correspondence to the letter he sent last year.

Gympie Times


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