Information / D. A. Concerns / Submissions

This page is designed to list some submissions or draft submissions from Concerned Residents. So that others may pick up points of concern that they may otherwise have missed...  (THIS CURRENTLY IS A LONG PAGE!)

This page will also link to the submissions area of the Shoalhaven City Council Website so that concerned residents can see what others have said...

Want some inspiration? Read the submission below...

Submission 1 below..
We wish to object to the subject Development Application RE: DA 09/2077 – Proposed Waste Facility at Parnell Road, Tomerong

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Dear Sir,

We wish to object to the subject Development Application. In general terms our objections are as follows;

  • The proposed development is a hazardous and offensive development that poses a significant threat to the environment and community of the Bay & Basin. There is a potential for damage to our environment including the pollution of waterways, air pollution and additional noise pollution; danger to the community from toxic releases, fire and traffic; increased heavy traffic without adequate infrastructure to support it and devaluation of properties in the area.

  • Secondly there has been insufficient time provided to permit the community to evaluate and respond to a development of this magnitude. We have been given about 21 days to respond in spite of Council being aware of the proposal since 10 May 2006.

More specifically we are concerned that:

  • The EIS indicates the waste will include building and demolition waste. On average almost 25% of this waste is asbestos or asbestos contaminated waste. Are we to assume that this will be an asbestos waste facility that will also include various toxic chemical residues, lead waste, oil filters, dangerous goods containers and biowaste?

  • The EIS states that although classified as non-putrescible; garden waste, wood waste and household waste (not food) can be deposited in the proposed facility. We are unsure if low-level (clinical) nuclear waste would be permitted.

  • The toxic water leaving the tip will be pumped and stored in a dam that in times of wet weather will result in overflows reaching the creek and draining into St. Georges Basin despite design to reduce this. It appears that the recycling of this water will further concentrate the level of contaminants in dry times before the toxic soup overflows at times of high rainfall or when the pumps fail. The EIS statement “Leachate application areas will be signposted and cordoned off for the benefit of human safety…” does not instil us with confidence. It appears the leachate will be disposed of on the landfill once the facility closes to eventually make its way into our waterways.

  • Whilst the EIS identifies the impact to the habitat of the flora and fauna it does not specify how the proponent will mitigate these by measures such as replanting, or placing nesting boxes etcetera in nearby undisturbed areas.

  • Although Tomerong Quarry is relatively shallow (about 14m) the EIS details that the fill will be a 35m hill that will rise above the surrounding landscape. This will not fit in with the contours of the land and we can only assume that the application is designed like this to fit in more waste than the hole can take. It may be that the site will settle over time but the EIS doesn’t appear to indicate how this would affect the subsequent contours.

  • We find it difficult to reconcile the statement that traffic on Parnell Road will decrease if the application is approved. The traffic would also substantially increase on Gumden Lane. We do not believe that access via Parnell Road for trucks should be used during the times when the creek floods. This road is unsuitable for this traffic.

  • Any facility similar to this should not be permitted to operate on weekends or public holidays.

  • The EIS is out of balance. It is analytical, comprehensive and detailed in some areas but lean and austere in others. It is incomplete.

  • We would assume that irrespective of whether this facility goes ahead or not, eventually the site, or its surrounds, will be developed for residential use. There have been numerous reports of harm to communities caused by developing estates on or near former tips. If it was not used for a waste facility it could conceivably eventually be used for community use. This, in the long term, would be more beneficial to the community and to the land holders.

The EIS Executive Summary refers to “…contact was made with key stakeholders to inform them of the proposal and determine if they had issues that need to be addressed…”. It is disappointing that only belatedly do the community (surely an important key stakeholder) get informed with only a limited time to make an informed comment. Are the community not part of the environment? Whilst noise, air and traffic studies may provide impressive figures and statistics it is the effect on the community (a key stakeholder) that is overlooked. Is the process, and the time given to raise an objection, deliberately structured to reduce the possibility that the community can rally and educate themselves in order to make an informed and valid objection?

The DA also needs to be assessed on need. No person or organisation to our knowledge, other than the proponent, has requested this development. The owners of the land have not requested it, neither have the leasee. Shoalhaven City Council have not requested it, neither have the South Coast Councils Group or the State or Federal Governments. The only initiator is Tomerong Waste Pty Ltd, a private company, we assume, that intends to make a profit from its operations, which could be at the expense of the local community and the environment.

It appears that to make the Waste Facility viable the applicants are trying to fit a ‘Sydney Harbour size garbage bag’ into a Sulo bin. It just won’t fit. If the proposal was more in keeping with the size of the hole then the application would be more realistic. The EIS identifies that other landfills within the south coast region have a life span of up to 30 years. Can we be confident that, if the application was approved, the venture would be successful? There is no guarantee that other Councils/Developers/Builders etcetera would bear the cost of transporting the waste to Tomerong unless dumping fees were cheap or the waste was so toxic they would not want it in their backyard. If the company was to fold who would make any exposed waste safe? Would it be Council? If the application and the venture was successful we notice that the EIS states that further extension of the quarry could occur and one would expect this to lead to a further extension of the tip. A possibility for more waste, more pollution, more trucks and even bigger hills!

It is interesting to note that the local Council do not have the authority to approve or reject this application. However, we would like Council (both elected officials and the entity) to advise the community which side of the fence they stand. The Joint Regional Planning Panel has the authority and it appears they are composed of people who do not live in the Shoalhaven. In fact some of them live in neighbouring Council areas who stand to benefit by shifting their waste to the Shoalhaven. The South Coast Councils Group is in favour of the application for the same reason. The local state member is not part of the government and has a relatively easy choice. The current State Government is Sydney-centric and is too busy fighting amongst themselves to govern. It would be easy for the Federal Government to treat the application as a regional/state issue. The community needs a legislative body to support it and that starts with the Shoalhaven City Council. We have been proud of the way the community has rallied and responded since the DA was announced and know that an organised, well directed professional response is forthcoming and all authoritative participants in the process will be scrutinised and evaluated.

Let us not be distracted by procedure. Whilst Tomerong Waste is quite within their rights to make the application, it does not mean that it has to be approved, even if it was to comply with relevant legislation. It can be rejected on the following grounds;

  • There is no benefit to the community. In fact the community would be substantially disadvantaged by approving the application.

  • The only proponent is Tomerong Waste Pty Ltd and there are extreme doubts as to whether the venture would be successful.

  • Approval of the application would pose severe dangers to the local environment both during the operation of the venture and once the operation has closed.

Finally, a quote from the EIS gives the best reason for not permitting this development; “Location is a primary determinant of the extent to which a landfill poses an environmental risk.” Enough said.

Submission END

Submission 2 (below)

attn;Steve McDiarmid   I am a long term resident of parnell road Tomerong,like most folk here we chose this location on the beautiful south coast because it gives us clean air clean water ,, therefore clean living.Having scrutinised the development application and associated impact studies, it is plain to see that it would be negligent of the shoalhaven city council to grant the d.a.. permission to proceed.  The following text and quotes,, clearly show inacurate data  or the total lack of data to back up the impact studys and  the integrity of the application.

  • The d.a. description states ,," NON PUTRECIBLE"  " INERT WASTE LANDFILL" ,,Page 7 NSW  Dept of primary industries quotes"waste that does not undergo,physical,chemical,or biological transformations. This class of waste includes,demolition wastes,gravel,stone and soil.Inert waste is distinct from and does not include any biodegrdeable waste, hazardous waste and green waste(garden waste ,trees, and leaves. the oxford dictionary defines ;inert; -"without power to move or act",,,,"without chemicals,gas or other properties".Quadro Aust air impact assesment clearly shows the impact of particulate matter thru airborn travel. section 3.1.1. therefore the waste is "on the move" directly in conflict with the claim of being "INERT".Total suspended particulates have not been determined for the site , and conservative figures have been used to develop data. the end result being the data not representing the true effects of dust deposition.!
  • section3.3 of concept landfill design impact study states"is not expected to create significant volumes of land fill gas"this is in direct conflict with the d.a. claim of  inert.It also states" it is not likley to require a gas extraction system ,,plans also reveal passive gas venting layer into the final closure capping design.It goes on to quote "a very low percentage on putrecible waste" The question begs what is the definition of low? Again a clear breach of the description of the development!
  • .Section 5.4.2 of the air impact study quotes'"a reduction factor of 75% which corresponds to the reduction factor for using water sprays, has been applied to all the emission sources except trucks" There is no statement in the application that suggests water sprays will be utilised in the processes. Therefore the data is invalid . Again showing  that the application  is not valid.
  • Section3.2 of air impact statement quotes"particulate matter background concentration data,,, air quality parameters have been sourced from albion park south monitoring station because it the closest to the subject."This data again is not a true representation of the conditions on site, and may raise the parameters used due to the prevailing winds bringing air pollution to albion park from BHP steelworks.
  • Residents to the northwest of the site are not on (town water) ,, water is collected from roof run off and stored in rain water tanks, for the purpose of drinking/potable water. There has been no study into dust deposition in respects to water contamination,and resulting health issues.No suspended particle data has been determined for the site.
  • The present Nowra , Huskisson , berry ,callala,  etc etc waste depots all  have substantial buffer zones in place from any residential /industrial/ semi rural areas. This is the accepted norm due to the need for a physical barrier /distance to mitigate air /noise/water and associated pollution that is generated from such facilities. With the precedences in place it is unacceptable that a waste site be considered for the tomerong site,with residents in close proximity , tomerong public school only a kilometre away, and head waters of moona moona creek that terminates in jervis bay marine park starting at the site, to name just a few .
  • Concept landfill study 2.1 quotes" a gate check will be undertaken"The oxford dictionary states definition of check as: to examine in order to make sure it is correct,safe satisfactory, or in good condition. Common sense tells us this will be a cursory glance at most, furthermore this check will not identify what lies beneath top layer,there is no explanation of how a comprehensive check will take place, .Reality shows that all manner of material turns up in building waste ,and one can expect a cocktail of inert and non inert waste. Time and economics rule out scrutiny of waste material.
            In summary ,scrutiny of plans and impact studies clearly confirm putrecible waste/ non inert waste/gas emissions and airborn waste in the form of dust will be on site and will emit from the proposed site. This is in direct conflict with the description of the facility .The site is clearly unsuitable for the proposed development ,and i call upon shoalhaven city council ,whom are voted in by the people to serve in the best interests of the people, to reject this development .                       

Submission END

Submission 3 (below)

Dear Mr McDiamid

I wish to comment on the proposed Tip on the site of the present Tomerong Quarry DA09/2077

I have grave concerns regarding the voracity of the environmental impact studies prepared by Eco Logical Australia Pty Ltd.
I note that in their document to council but PREPARED FOR Quadro Australia Pty Ltd, that a detailed flora study
consisted of three person hours on the 4th June 2009. This is unsatisfactory. I fail to comprehend how such a
limited time in the field can be definitive - rudimentary at best. Take the example of some species of orchids which
are invisible until they begin to flower in October...

I also note in the above mentioned document that...

"Only minimal fauna surveys have been undertaken as very little threatened fauna habitat is considered

likely to be present on the site." Is that correct? Surely the whole idea is to go and check it out. I seems they did a

bit of spotlighting on the 21st July 2009 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm. In the dead of winter.

I propose that a development of this nature demands a more comprehensive study over a longer timeframe than that which was

produced by Eco Logical Australia Pty Ltd.

As a local resident, I have made several sightings of the powerful owl,

yet in the study's appendix "No No habitat on site" Hard to believe..What other animals have been overlooked?

Seems like there is a mad rush to get this thing approved.

I also note that the proposed tip will result in 11,000 trucks or over 20,000 truck
movements entering and leaving the highway at the Island Point Rd Bypass intersection, traveling along
the bypass and into Gumden Lane. By my reckoning that's one every 12 minutes. Yet there is no safe egress

for pedestrians or bike riders along this route. How will council address safety concerns for children and bike riders

who regularly use this route?

As far a I can tell from Council's maps, the subject land appears to be zoned rural. A proposed tip hardly seems to qualify as rural.

Is the land to be rezoned???

The proximity of a tip to the waters of St Georges Basin directly via Tomerong creek and indirectly to Jervis Bay catchments poses

particular problems. I had a look at the leachate collection and disposal drawings and was not at all inspired with confidence.

As far as I can tell leachate will still enter the catchments at some stage. This poses the real threat of environmental disaster.

The development application has no grounds to suceed in its present form.

I call on Council to broaden their community consultation process and extend the closing date of submissions.

I urge council to reject this proposal.


Name withheld

Submission END

Submission 4 (below)

Shoalhaven City Council
Council Reference;  DA09/2077
Contact person;  Steve McDiamid
Attn Steve McDiarmid,,
             The following is one of a multitude of reasons why this development should never see the light of day! The subject is Landfill Liner Systems and Their Imminent Failure
 For those in positions of power  i shall explain it in simple terms..
Man digs hole.
Man lines hole with clay.
Man places plastic on clay.
Man fills hole with solvents,paints, hydrocarbons,toxic /hazardous substances.
Man covers hole.
Man walks away not looking back.
Clock ticks.
Plastic breaks down.
Clay shifts and splits.
Leachate silently slips away into our water, into our children ,into the cycle we call life!
This System of waste disposal harks back to the stone age, should we continue on this path or shall we endeavor to treat the earth as our own beating heart! Make us pay ,but not with our health or  the health of our children, the cost of proper solid waste management only represents a few more  cents per day for those who generate the wastes ,than the costs associated with current methods,similarly the proper management of landfill hazardous waste would not significantly increase the cost of the goods that generate the waste.
For those of us who refuse to turn away and are willing to face the truth about hazardous land fill read on!
What is truth you say? TRUTH is what remains when you have removed all that is false!
  • It is important that as part of developing a landfill , the applicant, be required to convincingly demonstrate that a proposed landfill will be sighted, designed ,constructed,operated,closed and provide post closure care such that it will protect the ground water resources, public health,environment and the interests of those within the sphere of influence of the landfill, for as long as the wastes in the landfill represent a threat.For planning purposes the treated waste residues in a hazardous waste landfill should be considered a threat to public health, the environment, and groundwater resources FOREVER!
  • It is now well understood that today's plastic sheeting lined land fills that meet minimum or even  somewhat above minimum design requirements will at best, only postpone when groundwater pollution occurs by landfill leachate generated within the landfill !.
  • If their are questions about any particular landfill being appropriately ,sited ,designed,constructed operated, and whether there will be adequate post-closure care funding for as long as the wastes represent a threat,i.e.;FOREVER,then the landfill should not be developed.Those who own or use properties near proposed landfills should be protected from adverse impacts of the landfill.This will require those who generate wastes that are placed in a landfill, pay the true costs associated with land filling the waste.In situations where there is inadequate information to evaluate whether a proposed landfill will be protective,it is appropriate to err on the side of protection of public health,and  the environment, rather than on  the side of cheaper- than- real cost waste disposal.

[There is no statement in the proposed d.a. that states post closure care for as long as the waste represents a threat.]
[Bear in mind that landfill sites may be for 5-10 years but the material will be dynamic/alive for 50 to 150 years???]
  • While landfill applicants and their consultants often claim that a composite liner system will not leak, it is obvious from the literature ,principles of chemical thermodynamics and common sense that such claims have no technical validity.The facts are that composite lined systems often can leak at the time of construction , due to imperfections in the construction.Liners leak due to inadequate protection during initial placement of waste,puncturing from plant equipment operation.
  • Common organic solvents found in municipal solid waste and treated hazardous waste residues, can pass through an intact flexible membrane liner, in a short period of time through diffusion ,thru to clay layer.Note;this mechanism of leakage is significant  , transporting highly hazardous material thru a liner that is perfectly formed and intact! It not only occurs from concentrated solutions but also with dilute aqueous solutions of the solvents.The solvents mentioned are not exotic chemicals that we would,not expect at a landfill but ones that can be purchased by the public at the local hardware store.Many of these solvents are known  or expected carcinogens.
  • Even if the liner is perfectly formed and no holes are punched in the liner at the time of waste deposition and if no organic solvents are present in the landfill,it is still only a matter of time until the liner system fails to prevent leachate from passing thru it.REASON: PLASTIC POLYMER BREAKDOWN.

[ Site plans reveal a low permeability liner will be used/a temporary low permeability bund of undescribed material will be in place.There is no disclosure in d.a.that addresses the ultimate breakdown of the liner and clay layer , therefore the failure to protect groundwater's for as long as the waste is a threat.]
[They also reveal" on the southern side of pit,groundwater is below the base of the proposed landfill, there is potential for seepage thru the base of the landfill to occur and to migrate offsite"then goes on to quote"seepage is likely to occur thru the base of the southern side of the landfill" liner is recommended & further testing of natural material on site required to prove the efficacy  if used as a liner"]
[Bentonite clay mats as quoted in d.a. plans ,have advective permeability's of about 1 0-9cm/sec,however diffusional transport thru such layers is much higher . Diffusional transport is a much more important process for determining  the migration of leachate, hence there are significant questions about the advisability of relying on bentonite mats as a reliable barrier for the transport of landfill leachate through them.]
[The question begs/ How do quarry blasting operations and landfill leachate liner integrity live together? A; They don't ! .]
  • "There are approximately 3 wells within one kilometer of the site.These wells are located in different groundwater catchments and / or are up hydraulic gradient of the site"They are unlikely to be impacted by land filling activities."

No accurate studies of groundwater catchments have taken place!]
[Residents to the northeast of site rely on rainwater to provide drinking and potable water, residents located within  1 kilometer have wells and bores  which are used to supplement water needs primarily for the propagation of orchards and vegetable gardens.These wells are situated on down side of hydraulic gradient!! What is the impact on these people????]
  • "The geology of the site is likely to be of relatively low permeability and yield."
  • "While not accurately surveyed the changes in groundwater elevations surrounding the pit broadly suggest that groundwater beneath the pit is likely to flow to the south or sth east towards tomerong creek"
  • The study notes" that the completion of a groundwater risk assessment to asses impacts of ground water migrating off site would further characterize the requirement of a land fill liner."
  • "In addition , sampling will incorporate groundwater and surface water locations outside of the landfill site to determine if any offsite environmental impacts have been created by leachate migration from the landfill.:Sorry ;;The Damage is Done!

[Who will pay for long term landfill contingencies,states in the USA are requiring that waste management companies post cash bonds to address long term issues.]
Municipal solid waste and hazardous waste landfills of this type using composite liners as a containment system for the waste and a collection system for landfill leachate are likely and will ultimately lead to groundwater pollution by leachate.The failure of being able to specifically show groundwater pollution today should not be interpreted to mean that groundwater has not or will not occur in the future.The basic problem is that ,monitoring systems used to detect land fill liner leakage are fundamentally flawed and have a low probability of detecting initial liner leakage before widespread leakage occurs.
Bear in mind, if all recommendations for design of landfill liner, leachate collection system, process procedures,  monitoring leachate volumes, leachate analysis,system maintenance,well maintenance and monitoring on site and off site ,pumping systems.etc etc.are followed and adhered to, regardless-The landfill liner will ultimately deteriorate and fail ,releasing leachate  into groundwater/ watercourses .
I close with this quote from Tomerong Landfill Facility ( Concept Landfill Design )
"Monitoring of leachate composition will be undertaken at quarterly intervals , during the operational life of the landfill.Elevation and concentration monitoring will continue following the closure of the landfill, However the schedule may be reduced subject to monitoring results."
(I ask what is the time frame  duration for monitoring.?????)
For planning purposes,the wastes in a municipal solid waste landfill or the treated waste residues in a
hazardous waste landfill should be considered a threat to public health,  the
environment and groundwater recoursesforever.

Submission END

As at 16/09/09 there have only been 20 Submissions lodged into council.. We are running out of time to show the Council that we care about our Bay and Basin.
As at 17/09/09 there have only been 60 Submissions lodged into council.. Still not nearly enough

D.A. status tracking instructions..


To track the progress of the D.A. and others submissions, click on the link above follow these directions...
read the warnings, click agree, (move the help window to the side) type in the form at the top 146    Parnell Rd      Tomerong,  (Go to the bottom of the form) click 'search', (move the help window to the side) click on the '+' to the left of DA09/2077, wait 20 seconds, go about half way down the page to
Documents DA09/2077-01 (19/08/2009) Watkinson Apperley Pty Limited - 146 Parnell ..., click [view] to view the document in .pdf form.

Or go down the page to 3 lines below (about half way down the page)
'DA09/2077-02 (20/08/2009) Watkinson Apperley Pty Limited - 146 Parnell ...',  
Starting with...
D09/151254 (31/08/2009) Submission - Petitioners - Lot 4 DP 775296 14... --> [View]

Then click [view] to view the document in .pdf form.

Note - Some are clear and some are digitally camouflaged.

Note if you don't have Adobe '.pdf' reader you can download it at    http://get.adobe.com/reader/     (35Mb download)