Heated exchange at forum on Mary Valley development
THE normally peaceful streets of Amamoor were replaced with heated debate in the town's public hall on Sunday when residents clashed with the Gympie businessman who wants to develop a quarry near the Mary Valley Link Rd.
Up to 60 people turned out for the first meeting of the Mary Valley Community Group Inc, which says it has formed to give residents a voice on the future of the Valley and several proposals that are under consideration by Gympie Regional Council.
The issues covered on Sunday included the Kybong piggery, the quarry, a motor sport park at Bella Creek, and helicopter training near the Kybong airport.
WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT THE MARY VALLEY? Click here to follow the topic
While several residents spoke against excessive noise levels in the Valley and the environmental impact from some developments, Corbet's Group owner Andrew Corbet said residents did not have all the details on his quarry proposal.
Listening to their concerns, Mr Corbet said people needed to hear the full circumstances behind his compost manufacturing facility and the quarry development, which had been dogged by misinformation.
The issues stem from a proposal from Corbet's Group for a quarry and 24-hour concrete batch plant on the site, which has a borrow pit.
It comes on the heels of an approved application last year to develop a 2.5ha storage site, and operate from 6am-7pm Monday to Saturday.
"Everybody needs to know composting and what we're doing is nothing new than what we've been doing at Woondum Rd for the last 10 years," Mr Corbet said.
He pointed out he had been working with the council for more than 15 years to find viable solutions for his expanding business, and industry played an important part in the region.
"Industry has to be somewhere for jobs for Gympie," he said.
Later, Mr Corbet told The Gympie Times he thought the meeting had been good for the community and that he was happy to discuss residents' concerns with them in the future.
"It was a very important meeting to let people know what we're about and what we're trying to achieve," he said. "Everything we've done we've done properly.
"We want to be here for a long time."
MVCG president Nick Bennett agreed with Mr Corbet's assessment.
"I think it went well," he said. "It laid a good foundation for the group."
He said the MCVG had been formed to "keep council accountable".
All councillors and Mayor Mick Curran were invited to the meeting and Mr Bennett said he was "a little bit disappointed" not one showed up.
Meeting chairman Reg Lawler also stressed the role of the group was not to be antagonistic, but to encourage conversation.
"We need to talk, we don't need to fight each other," he said. "We're a community, we should stand together."