ADJOINING landholders to the proposed new Gunnedah Waste Facility took to Gunnedah council chambers on Wednesday night to voice their concerns.
At a lengthy ordinary council meeting, which included an hour and 40 minutes of presentations by the public, residents stood up to oppose the proposed facility and council's submission to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE).
Council's submission did not object to the proposal, but sought further information on several matters of concern.
The NSW Planning Portal shows 86 submissions from the public objecting to the development application, and locals who presented at the council meeting argued council should be taking a stronger stance due to the lack of exhibition and the project's impacts on neighbours, the environment and the broader community.
Deeanne Rankin, whose property "Portland" on the Kamilaroi Highway is only 500 metres from the proposed development, pleaded to the council to do more in an emotional presentation.
"I do not believe the issue of lack of communication has been raised by council in their submission," she said.
"We were never contacted by the proponent until we initiated the contact.
"I do understand the short-term financial gains a development like this will bring to the community, but also know the financial and environmental burden they will cause."
Despite the community concern, council proceeded to pass a motion to endorse the actions of its Director Planning and Environmental Services Andrew Johns in the preparation and issue of submission to the NSW DPIE.
Mr Johns told the chamber he has looked at many of the public submissions on the website and picked up the common theme of lack of public consultation.
However, he said he had confidence that the NSW DPIE will ensure that consultation is done.
"I feel that it's really their decision to make a call as to whether the consultation was accurate," he said.
"I do feel for the people in the community that live nearby."
He also said it was "typical for council to be not be anything other than neutral" when they had an application of this nature.
"I trust that the process will run its course, the Department will prepare a report to the IPC and they will deal with it appropriately.
"Any development such as that will be subject to an Environmental Protection License, again I have faith that should it be approved by the IPC that it would be monitored very carefully by the state regulator."
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