RESIDENTS in and around Gunnedah, who are against the proposed Torrens Road waste facility and the Marys Mount quarry expansion, will meet to discuss their concerns this weekend.
Many locals are concerned about a "lack of community consultation" before the two projects were set in motion, and now, they're doing what they can to have their voices heard.
A meeting has been organised for 4pm on Saturday at Emerald Hill Hall.
Bob Ironmonger said he was alerted to the project via a letter from the state planning department, but he said many others had not been directly informed.
Instead, he said, they had heard about the project through Facebook, or the local media.
"The first we heard from it was a letter from the state planning department, saying 'this is proposed across the road and if you're worried about it put in a submission'," Mr Ironmonger said.
"I think we only had about four weeks to do so and we had Christmas and everything else to worry about.
"The whole thing is tilted very much in favour of the developer, to the detriment of the residents."
The waste facility is state significant, and Mr Ironmonger said at the meeting they will discuss whether or not to approach Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson as a cohesive group.
"Until we have a meeting, I'm not sure what people will say, but I'm fairly sure they'll want to talk to Mr Anderson," he said.
The Leader spoke with Mr Anderson who said "ultimately the decision will be made by the Independent Planning Commission".
"Any complaints or concerns that have been raised with me and my office have been forwarded to the minister," Mr Anderson said.
"There's a little way to go on this project; submissions, I understand, have already been put through. They will be taken into account so when people do make a submission, or they do have concerns, they are taken into account and will be part of that determination process by the Independent Planning Commission.
"My role is to facilitate the community's concerns and make sure they've got that voice and that pathway."
Local landholder Deeanne Rankin said "in town, a lot still are not aware about it".
"Some people haven't even had the opportunity to have a look at the Environmental Impact Statement, so for a development such as these to go ahead in a community, people need to know about them and how it may or may not impact them and their homes, their rural properties, financially," Ms Rankin said.
"The developer didn't even talk to the homeowner who shares a boundary fence with him, they're a young family with four young children, and we're the next property along.
"We can't believe we've totally been ignored."
Ms Rankin and other locals also recently attended the February ordinary council meeting to present their concerns to Gunnedah Shire Council in the hope they would stop the developments.
But acting mayor Rob Hooke said the council was "not the consenting authority", so they had no permission to share the information before the state government chose to.
"I believe council really doesn't have the capacity or is allowed to distribute the development application to the community," Cr Hooke said.
"It's not up to council to put that development application up for exhibition, it is the state government."
He said while councillors could vote to object to the developments at a meeting if they wished to do so, the council itself could not.
"If it meets all the requirements through the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and other agencies, then council is really not in a position to object, in my personal view," he said.
In terms of Saturday's meeting, the acting mayor said locals should "be careful not to jump the gun a little on this".
"It's good to have the community armed and ready if the state planning doesn't come out with something that satisfies concerns, but there's likely to be a public inquiry into this," he said.
"To find out what the results are from that, and what restrictions are going to be put on that development proposal through the EPA, is going to determine whether it's acceptable to the community or not."
For more information about the meeting, contact Deeanne Rankin on 0488 961 492.
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