SMELLY: The odour you can smell at Chinderah is emanating from the Tea tree plantation.
SMELLY: The odour you can smell at Chinderah is emanating from the Tea tree plantation. APN Media

What's that smell? Mystery gas odour baffles authorities

JOINT inspections will be held this week between the Tweed Shire Council and NSW Environmental Protection Agency over an unidentified smell near Melaleuca Station, just south of Chinderah.

Council officers said they had been unable to "definitively determine" the origin of the odour, despite many site visits.

Council manager of building environment and health David McNicoll said it was most likely coming from two activities at a Chinderah tea tree farm.

One is the use of a new natural gas oil that's been used in the burners at the tea tree processing plant, which came into use when construction of the new petrol station kicked off several months ago.

However investigations of the fuel storage systems proved inconclusive because they had no strong smell.

"Then there's composting works which have been going on for some time and if the piles go off they can be quite on the nose," Mr McNicoll said. "The matter is being considered a public nuisance and not a public health matter."

Tea tree production ceases in September.



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