Eunony Valley residents have succeeded in pushing back a waste management centre they feared would contaminate their land and waterways.
The controversial proposal to build a landfill for non-odorous waste at a former wool combing facility in Bomen has been deferred by the Southern Regional Planning Committee.
Following presentations from about two dozen members of the local community, the committee declared the project could not proceed until an independent review had assessed the likelihood of the dump causing contamination to nearby groundwater.
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The independent review must be undertaken by a "suitably qualified" expert endorsed by Wagga City Council.
An expert must also address the likelihood of airborne ash from the dump contaminating products at the adjacent Riverina Oils facility, which produces over 250 tonnes of vegetable oil each day.
The decision has been welcomed by members of the community, who had expressed fear the site could contaminate downstream waterways including the Murrumbidgee River and two aquifers beneath the site.
Local crop farmer John Gray said he was happy with the decision and confident the independent review would provide a good outcome for residents.
"The deferral is probably the best result we could ask for," he said.
"The panel has certainly listened to what we had to say as a community which is that the project is not comparable to the area they're trying to put it into."
This sentiment was shared by fellow residents Peter Fawcett, Graeme Obst and Bill Schulz.
Mr Fawcett said he would have liked to see the proposal knocked back by the planning committee completely but a deferral was better than nothing.
"I would have preferred a rejection but a deferral is better than an acceptance of the application," Mr Fawcett said.
"I think our submissions were quite strong and relevant considering the great concerns."
Mr Schulz was very happy with the decision and credited the community's united front for the outcome.
"We think the decision to defer is very good," he said.
"We believe there needs to be thorough investigation into the proposal to make sure the right decision is made and there is no negative impact on the aquifers, the surface water, the neighbouring properties and the neighbouring community."
Mr Obst added that the risk of groundwater contamination is too serious to discount.
"An independent report should confirm that the proposed location is totally innapropriate," he said.
"There are far too many landholders reliant on this water for livestock and drinking water."
Riverina Warehousing Solutions declined to comment on the determination.
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