At Last! Some sense! DEAN WELLS for Qld Premier!!

DECEMBER 14, 2012

TERRIFIC STORY (BELOW) FROM TODAY’S COURIER MAIL ABOUT NOXIOUS INDUSTRY TOO CLOSE TO HOMES.  DEAN WELLS, WE COULDN’T AGREE MORE! MR WELLS’ ARGUMENT APPLIES NOT ONLY TO THE NARANGBA INDUSTRIAL ESTATE, BUT ALSO TO THE INTENSIVE AGRICULTURE FARMS IN GREENBANK AND CHAMBERS FLAT, THE MACADAMIA PLANTATIONS NEXT TO THE NOOSA FISH HATCHERY, THE QUARRY SITE IN THE SCENIC RIM, AND MANY, MANY OTHER SITES ACROSS QUEENSLAND. 

IT’S NOTABLE THAT THE QUESTION OF ‘WHO WILL PAY FOR THIS’ ALWAYS COMES UP – BUT OUR QUESTION IS ‘WHO WILL PAY IF THE PROLIFERATION OF SUCH INDUSTRIES CLOSE TO HOMES IS NOT STOPPED AND THESE INDUSTRIES, OR THE HOMES AROUND THEM, RELOCATED.  AND THE ANSWER IS THIS – WE WILL ALL PAY – WITH OUR HEALTH! 

GOVERNMENTS HAVE A DUTY OF CARE NOT TO EXPOSE PEOPLE TO DANGEROUS AND HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES, AND RESIDENTS HAVE A RIGHT TO A CLEAN AND SAFE ENVIRONMENT.  HERE IN GREENBANK, WE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF THE LIES AND WEASEL WORDS USED TO PROTECT THE FINANCIAL INTERESTS OF DANGEROUS INDUSTRIES WHILE RESIDENTS’ AND RATEPAYERS’ LEGITIMATE CONCERNS ARE RIDICULED AND TRIVIALISED.  WE NEED MORE PUBLIC FIGURES LIKE DEAN WELLS TO SPEAK OUT ABOUT THIS DISGUSTING ABUSE OF PLANNING PROCESSES.

Noxious businesses must go from Narangba Industrial Estate, according to former state MP

  • by: Jessica Taylor and Samantha Healy, Northern Times
  • From: Quest Newspapers
  • December 14, 2012 12:00AM
The fire at Narangba Industrial Estate on Tuesday night

Fire at an oil storing facility at Potassium St, Narangba just before 1am on Tuesday, December 11. Source: Supplied

Former state member for Murrumba Dean Wells says the State Government needs to revive Labor’s plans to move noxious and hazardous industries from Narangba Industrial Estate after another fire there on Tuesday.

The blaze broke out at the former tannery, now oil-holding facility on the corner of Boundary and Potassium streets about 1am.

Large explosions from gas cylinders inside the building forced firefighters to extinguish the blaze externally. Police are treating the fire as suspicious.

Mr Wells said the former government had completed a study  on alternative sites for noxious businesses.

He could not name the possible locations, but said the site needed to be surrounded by a green belt, on a railway line and protected by legislation so houses could not be built up to it.

“The LNP government ought to commit to continuing that work and announce a new location before something even worse happens,” Mr Wells said.

“It is commonsense not to have industry adjacent to housing.

“It’s dangerous for people to live there.”

We need to preserve jobs and we need to protect the people, and you do that by having a general industry site not a noxious and hazardous industry site.

The scene of the fire at Narangba Industrial Estate

The scene of the fire at Naranba Industrial Estate this week. Source: The Courier-Mail

It was the second fire at the premises in three years and it is believed to be the 10th in the estate in eight years.

The most recent was in September when a bitumen tank exploded. There was another in April, 2008, at Tasman Sheepskin Tannery, a factory fire in December, 2006, and the Binary Chemicals blaze in August, 2005.

Narangba Community Action Group spokeswoman Fran Jell said: “It’s criminal they allow people to live so close when there’s been so many fires.”

Resident Suzi Tooke, called the latest incident “another example of  an appalling lack of planning  to allow housing development so close to industrial development”.

Emergency services at the scene of the fire at Narangba Industrial Estate

A dam was built to contain toxic runoff after a fire at Narangba Industrial Estate. Source: The Courier-Mail

Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said “the placement of noxious and hazardous industries in the future is under review” but he would not say if there were plans to move businesses that were already there.

State Member for Murrumba Reg Gulley could not provide details on what the government’s plans were but Mr Seeney said it would not sell remaining land at the estate to noxious industries.

He said: “The operation of business in the estate is regulated both through council planning regimes and environmental licensing regimes”.

Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Allan Sutherland said: “There may be a couple of factories that have a question mark over them. I just don’t know what we can do … another day, another time, you probably would not put some industries here. The question is, who pays for them to move?”

He was not available to be interviewed further on the topic.

What do you think? Should hazardous industries be moved from Narangba and where? Write a comment below.

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2 responses to “At Last! Some sense! DEAN WELLS for Qld Premier!!

  1. Harry Vandenberg

    The Narangba Industrial Estate was created in 1972 in the middle of nowhere with kilometers of space all around it. It is the local council who allowed houses to be built years later in what by national legislation is a buffer zone. It is not a matter of moving the industry again and again with thousands of jobs at stake.

    • @ Harry – yes, we completely agree. But now that Councils HAVE allowed housing development in the NARANGBA buffer zone, what is to be done? Are you suggesting the poor unsuspecting public who were gypped into thinking they’d bought homes in a safe place should now just suck it up? (And of course it usually is lower income home buyers who get caught up in this kind of situation while developers who have been aided and abetted by a negligent council issuing approvals that should not be given walk away with full pockets.)

      As I wrote in the above article, either the industrial estate OR the homes MUST be moved if we are to serve the interests of public health and safety. To not do so is to condemn these poor home owners to longterm health risks, and we all know they can’t sell to recoup their investments because who would want to buy their homes?

      Here in Greenbank, the problem is the opposite. RURAL RESIDENTIAL since the 1970s, but industrial style greenhouse farms have been allowed to set up 10-15 metres from people’s homes and water tanks. When the farms spray their soil or crops – with little or no oversight from authorities – and do not do it in a safe fashion, birds drop from the sky. We have seen mass birdkills here several times in the past 18 months. So of course people are concerned about chemical exposure, and rightly so. I agree that jobs are important, but not at the expense of people’s health and wellbeing. When you have cancer having a job is irrelevant.

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