Orica explosives plant only just approved for east of Dingo

CENTRAL Highlands Regional Council approval for Orica's explosive manufacturing plant east of Dingo scraped across the line in a close five to four vote.

Deputy Mayor Gail Nixon and councillors Kevin Pickersgill, Kev Cracknell and Peter Maundrell demanded their opposition to the 24/7 ammonium nitrate facility on the Capricorn Hwy be noted.

"I want my objection recorded," Cr Nixon said, as the other three nodded.

When told the Department of Justice and the Attorney-General had reviewed Orica's application and decided that a homestead 600m away from the plant had not been flagged as an issue, Cr Nixon begged to differ.

"I would be a bit scared about that," she said of the facility approved to store 10,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate for use mainly in the mining industry, and 270,000 tonne a year of the chemical in emulsion form.

"The other thing is how secure is this site going to be?"

Planning and Development Services manager Luke Lankowski said environmental and workplace health and safety issues had also been referred to the relevant State Government agencies, who had rubber-stamped the proposal.

Cr Nixon also expressed concern that Main Roads had no conditions to widen the turn-off area into Diamond Dee Rd. 


"You've got trucks filled with ammonium nitrate… and some poor silly bugger comes from Rocky and that thing turns in front them.  I wouldn't like to be a passenger," she said.

 

Councillor Peter Maundrell commented the plant had the potential to "go off with a fair bang" as he called for more information before the application was granted.

"We're looking at the planning aspects of it, the land-use only and it's up to those other departments… so I'm assuming those people know what they're doing," Cr Maguire said.

"I know think they do," Cr Nixon retorted.

There were two submissions received during the public consultation period.

In his report Mr Lankowski said industry, business and employment opportunities were improved by Orica's investment in the region.

He said it was appropriately located to service the community and region and encourage economic activity in the local area.

An 80-person camp will be erected on the 34ha site for the plant's construction, cut by half when the facility is operational.

Orica chose the site to be able to maintain continuity of supply to its Bowen Basin mine customers in times of flooding.  


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