Act for Salisbury-Moorooka residents & stop noxious odours from 102 Evans Rd, Salisbury

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Elizabeth O'Neill
Elizabeth O'Neill signed this petition

 We the undersigned residents of Salisbury and Moorooka, ask the Premier to commit to a thorough review of the assessment and approval process for the existing Permit BRID0050 for 102 Evans Rd, Salisbury.

We ask that this permit, which currently allows the EGR Group to use this site for high impact surface coating and plastics manufacture, be re-negotiated to bring it into line with the current Brisbane City Plan  2014 and the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008.

One objective of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 is an air environment that is conducive to human health and well-being. This has not been the experience of many residents in Salisbury and Moorooka.

Instead residents have been expected to breathe air that causes symptoms like asthma, vomiting, eczema, and eye and gut irritation; or to keep windows and doors closed and their children inside for extended periods of time.

The Council and the State Government have repeatedly failed residents by allowing planning decisions to be made on this site that negatively affect well-being. Some residents report mental stress and worry about having to breathe the odour. In some cases, people have been forced to leave their homes until the odour has gone, or to terminate their lease or sell and move away.

For almost 20 years, residents have asked for better regulation of the noxious emissions coming from this site. Instead, Council and State Governments have continued to rely on industry self-regulation. 

In 2014 residents formed the Salisbury Moorooka Noxious Odour Action Group (SMNOAG) to lobby Council to take action to stop a noxious ‘cat pee’ odour that had been coming from this site for 6 months.  It was another 6 months before EGR developed and implemented a plan to address these noxious emissions.  

The main action taken to reduce emissions was to reduce the level of production on this site, by relocating some production to EGR’s Darra site. SMNOAG continued to contact Council and the State Government asking that this site NOT be approved to operate as a high impact industry as it is less than 0.5km from residential areas.

In December 2017, your Government approved a Permit for this site to increase production by up to 10 fold. Your Government also gave EGR a Grant for this expansion. 

Residents only learned of this when they tried to register ongoing odour problems with Council, and Council advised it was no longer their concern.

From July 2018 complaints about the same pungent ‘cat pee’ odour started to increase again. Despite numerous individual complaints to the Pollution Hotline no significant action was taken by the Department of Environment and Science (DES) until October-November 2018, when there was media coverage of the problem residents faced.

Since then, the investigation has been slow. The frequent unavailability of Compliance Officers when the odour is present has resulted in DES still not being able to confirm the source or nature of the odour, after 5 months. In addition there is an apparent lack of pre-existing knowledge in DES of the operations at 102 Evans Rd, the past investigation in 2014, and the emissions management strategies and systems in place.

It is with a sense of frustration and desperation that residents ask you to investigate the past regulatory management of this site; which is operated by a company that this year was successfully prosecuted by the ACCC (link below).

We ask you to please advise what action you will take to:

 1.       Re-negotiate the current Permit for this site to effectively reduce production, stop emissions of potentially toxic chemicals, and implement regular compliance monitoring.   

 2.       Ensure future development approvals for the 3 other sites in close proximity, also operated by EGR, will remain consistent with existing zoning as light industry and compliant with legislation.

Salisbury Moorooka Noxious Odour Action Group