Residents have their concerns heard
More than 70 Binningup residents turned up to a community meeting on Wednesday to voice their concerns over the proposed limestone pit.
Residents have been unable to meet because of strict COVID-19 social gathering restrictions and took the opportunity to bombard Harvey Shire staff with questions.
Harvey Shire CEO Annie Riordan and manager of planning services Simon Hall braved the angry crowd.
Several residents voiced their concerns over the noise, health risks and location of the pit, which would sit just 680m from the nearest house.
In a message from the meeting’s chair, attendees were asked to “remain respectful” or would be forced to “retract their statements, issue an apology and leave”.
Mrs Riordan said she “understood the concerns of the community and invited them to attend the shire briefing session”.
Mr Hall said he had received 356 letters from residents and only 10 in support of the pit.
“I’ll be honest, I did not expect this many submissions,” Mr Hall said.
“It has taken us by surprise.”
One Binningup resident said she felt as though “the council had let the community down”.
“Why would we now believe you will take on-board our concerns, when you haven’t paid any attention to us before?”
Another said he was saddened by the loss of the golf course in Binningup and said Binningup residents “desperately needed a win”.
However, not all residents were opposed to the pit.
One resident, who spoke publically to the group and then to the Reporter, said she saw the need for the limestone pit.
“We need to look at the bigger picture and be progressive,” she said.
The limestone would be used to help build the Bunbury Outer Ring Road.
Residents Ian Hill and Rob Spence told the Reporter they were happy with the outcome of the meeting.
“We appreciate Annie and Simon coming out to chat with us,” Mr Hill said.
“They did their best to answer our questions.
“But, we still have concerns about what this will do to tourism, our property value and our health.”
Mr Spence said Binningup had a strong sense of community and the pit debate was upsetting many residents.
Mr Hall said he was waiting for the acoustic sound report to be returned before taking the matter to council.
The Reporter understands the item could appear in the August agenda.
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