Eunony Valley resident concerned for region’s ‘livelihood’

POINT OF VIEW: Eunony Valley winemaker Jan Pollard points towards the gentle rise where a proposed landfill for non-odorous materials may be placed. Mrs Pollard believes the runoff water could affect the entire valley.
POINT OF VIEW: Eunony Valley winemaker Jan Pollard points towards the gentle rise where a proposed landfill for non-odorous materials may be placed. Mrs Pollard believes the runoff water could affect the entire valley.

A winemaker in the Eunony Valley region has expressed serious concerns over the impact of tainted water from dump sites leaking into waterways and properties north-east of Wagga Wagga. 

It comes as the wider Eunony Valley community continues to discuss ongoing development proposals for a Bomen waste management facility.

Some residents, including Eunonyhareenya Wines proprietor Jan Pollard, believe proposed developments at the old Wool Combing Facility, including the conversion of effluent evaporation ponds into a dumping ground for recycled and non-odorous materials, will have serious implications for the surrounding region.

Mrs Pollard attended a community meeting on Monday alongside roughly 40 other Eunony locals and said people were “concerned about their livelihoods”.

“We’re all concerned about what we’re growing out here and what will happen in the future,” she said.

It’s nice of the developers to say the waste is non-toxic but we still don’t really know what’s going into the area and how it will affect us.”

Site owner Chris Egan has previously flagged the proposed dump as non-odorous and told The Daily Advertiser it was in an ideal location far away from residential properties.

However Mrs Pollard believes the real problems are the ones less easily spotted. 

“My major concerns are for what you can’t see,” she said.

“In storms, those ponds they’re planning on using will get flooded and all the water could run down and affect the whole valley.

“Those ponds have been sitting there toxic for 20 years, so who knows what’s in them or what’s been leeching out into the ground?”

Ms Pollard said she would support the initiative if it was further away and didn’t impact on people’s waterways and properties.

“Sure, this kind of thing would be fine if it were in a disused dam in the middle of nowhere,” she said,

“But to my understanding, water runs down off that ridge through the valley so I can see why people are up in arms about it.”

“That runoff water is only going one way and that’s a direct route into the river.”

Water isn’t the only concern with the Pollard residence conscious of noise pollution from any on-site machinery at the proposed landfill.

“Quite often on a Thursday, I can hear the agents taking bids at the saleyards (roughly seven kilometres away,” Mrs Pollard said.

“Imagine the sounds of trash compactors out there 5 days a week in our own backyard.

“That’ll impact everyone’s ears.”