Councillors Glen Hartwig (right) and Dan Stewart.
Councillors Glen Hartwig (right) and Dan Stewart. Renee Albrecht

Traveston depot to be expanded despite 17 protests

THE expansion of Gympie businessman Andrew "Aussie" Corbet's Traveston depot was given the green light yesterday despite 17 submissions of protest from surrounding residents and businesses.

The development application for Corbet Organics to use an extra 2.5ha pad of land to store landscaping supplies stirred up debate over operating hours in Gympie Regional Council's ordinary meeting yesterday.

A staff member told councillors the expansion would not increase the amount of material and would let workers more easily "move piles around", but the public notification period still attracted submissions raising concerns over noise, dust, odour and traffic, as well as issues relating to the existing onsite borrow pit.

Several of the submissions concerned the facility's current operating hours from 6am to 7pm, saying heavy machinery was disturbing neighbouring blocks.

Councillor Darryl Dodt said the fact that the application only applied to the 2.5ha of the facility meant the council had little power over operating hours.

"It's silly for us to tell them they can't operate a machine on a tiny bit of the site," Cr Dodt said.

Mayor Mick Curran said several of the concerns raised by the community were not relevant to the application before council, but he was facilitating meetings between the business and stakeholders in an effort to resolve issues.

Councillors yesterday morning received an email from Garapine, the outdoor recreation and school camp facility that neighbours the Corbet Organics site, opposing the expansion.

Councillor Glen Hartwig said while he didn't oppose the application "as a whole", he had "significant concerns" the early-morning noise would impact nearby properties, especially Garapine.

"You've got a school camp facility that backs onto it," Cr Hartwig said.

"I think I'd do my nut."

The decision to approve the application was carried by all councillors except Hilary Smerdon and Glen Hartwig, while James Cochrane abstained from the vote because he was a resident of the area.

Gympie Times

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