The owner of the Ardlethan tin mine has acknowledged there are community concerns over plans to transform the mine into a dump for Sydney’s waste.
It comes as Ardlethan resident Renee Doyle refuted claims the Riverina town was “largely supportive” of the proposal that would see the mine filled out by 400,000 cubic metres of rubbish.
“As a neighbour of the mine precinct I heartily agree this proposal was manifestly flawed,” Ms Doyle wrote in a letter to the Advertiser.
“I need to correct the misconception that Ardlethan residents largely support this proposal. Given that we have not been consulted by either Australian Tin Resources or Coolamon Shire Council, most people within the community do not have a clue what’s involved in this ludicrous proposal.”
Ms Doyle’s explosive letter said the proposal is “manifestly flawed” because it would “literally create a mountain of waste”.
“The site is at a higher elevation than the surrounding area making it highly susceptible to the effects of wind with the potential for dust, noise, odour and litter to be carried considerable distance,” she said.
Other groups such as the Riverina Wine Grapes Marketing Board have flagged grave concerns the proposal could impact agricultural production.
Australian Tin Resources director Peter Francis hit back at the claims, but said concerns over the environmental impact of the proposed future site were “fair enough”.
“Any change to the mine is going to bring about some level of concern,” he said. “It’s fair enough, it’s a fair concern, but it’s not supported by science.”
Mr Francis, who is Sydney-based, said he hoped to work with the Ardlethan community as the proposal advanced into new phases and argued “strict regulations” would be placed on the future site to reduce environmental impact. He said the possibility of a contaminant known as phylloxera affecting grapes was remote.
“We are not collecting green waste in any event,” he said. “If it did fine its way into Ardlethan it can only travel short distances. Griffith is 60 kilometres away. Phylloxera is known to travel just two.”
Coolamon Shire Council general manager Tony Donoghue said the proposal, which is yet to be approved by the state government, was in its early days. “Any landfill debate is emotive. That’s why there is a process that requires appropriate scrutiny,” he said.
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