Development site causes dust-up
By ED SOUTHORN
OASIS estate residents are fed up with a "dust storm" generated by trucks on a hill of dirt at the nearby Soho development site.
Colin Barrett, of Falcon Way, South Tweed, said his four children, aged under 12, and his asthmatic wife Belinda had been unable to go outside to their backyard for a week.
He said a constant convoy of heavy trucks was shifting dirt from a huge cleared hillside less then 50 metres from his back door, near Greenway Drive.
Mr Barrett said he had contacted Tweed Shire Council three times to complain the building site was not being watered to keep the dust down.
Mrs Barrett described the dust as a "constant haze of red sooty dusty stuff".
Neighbours Ron and Sonia Allie also said they had cleaned their house inside four times over the past week, trying to get rid of the talcum-like dust.
"We can't do the washing or leave any doors or windows open," Mr Barrett said.
"And you can taste it in the air."
Mr Barrett, who works in a pizza shop and was previously an erosion control worker on the Yelgun to Chinderah freeway project, also said trucks in the past few days had been starting up before 7am at the Soho site, where a mixed commercial and residential complex will be built after a large section of the hill has been excavated.
Tweed Shire development assessment manager Garry Smith said shire staff visited the Soho site last week after the residents' complaints that dust control measures were not in place.
Mr Smith said the Soho development approvals included a management plan to preserve the neighbourhood amenity during construction.
He said the developer had now been "directed to water it down" to ensure compliance with Tweed Shire approvals.
"It's hard to get a water truck up and down parts of that hill but it is up to the developer to control the dust," Mr Smith said.
He said if the dust clouds continued without proper dust prevention methods, infringement notices and fines could be implemented.