NEWSLETTER 69: 21 December 2009
LAND & ENVIRONMENT COURT SYDNEY - 23/24 December this week.
This is Woolworths’ last ditch attempt to persuade the Commissioner that they have a viable proposal for an on-site sewage system for the too-small boggy site in Station Street, Mullumbimby. Wws cannot start building until they have approval for the on-site system, or else wait for Mullum’s new sewage treatment plant (STP).
13 August 2009: Byron Shire Councillors rejected (6-1) Woolworths S68 onsite sewage proposal. Woolworths now have to wait a few years for Mullum’s new STP to be built. Not wanting to wait, Woolworths (Wws) challenge our councillor’s refusal in Land & Environment Court.
28 September 2009: Land & Environment Court hearing in Station Street; community submissions given by Duncan Dey, Garry Scott and Deborah Lilly. Next day case moves to Ballina Court House. Instead of the hearing being based on the proposal which was refused by our councillors, the commissioner agrees to let Wws come up with a new and different proposal – but, hey, its not ready – so case is adjourned, till next time, never mind the expense. By being late with their new information, Wws become liable to pay Council's costs. The issue of costs would be heard in a different Court. Council would have to mount that case and, unfortunately, the substantial costs of that court case are not recoverable.
18/19/20 November 2009: Sydney Land & Environment Court – Guess What!! Woolworths new plan is still not ready. Commissioner agrees to give them another month to come up with a plan.
23/24 December: Sydney Land & Environment Court ALL WELCOME!!! The new plans are ready!!! Are they final??? Of course not, each page is stamped with “Preliminary for Discussion” Will they work? My on-site septic is 'flush and forget'. Not so for Woolworths – the Management Plan is 178 pages long and is so complicated they will have to train experts to operate it.
The Commissioner has been excessively and suspiciously generous to Woolworths in allowing them THREE (3) attempts to convince the court that they can come up with a plan that will work, and it is plain for all to see that our councillors WERE RIGHT TO REJECT Wws original proposal.
I shall be flying to Sydney tomorrow for the court case and Duncan Dey and friend are driving overnight to get there so Mullumbimby community will be represented – we feel its crucial to keep an eye on proceedings and let them know we’re watching.
Any donations for our efforts will be welcomed, please go to: http://www.mullumaction.org/donate.html. Thanks Param in Bristol UK for offering some financial support.
The Wws plan has plenty of inadequacies, despite its 178 pages. Contentious issues include, for instance, the buffers between the effluent disposal area and the boundaries being considerably less than 1 metre; management of foul odours and putrid gases have not been properly evaluated; Dept of Health apparently has not been consulted about the use of recycled effluent for flushing toilets and whether the inhalation of fine droplets and possible pathogens is a health hazard; the extraordinary complexity of allowable situations when tankers might be used to remove the effluent (currently illegal in Byron Shire); the impact of the mainstream chemicals for cleaning the supermarket and food preparation areas & utensils which are designed to kill microbes, bacteria and algae which will then go into the on-site septic tanks and irrigation systems and probably render them useless.
I have researched some of the chemicals in the products as the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) supplied by Woolworths do not have the relevant information, such as the ingredients of the cleaning products, their toxicity, and Hazchem codes. We have been fobbed off with dummy MSDS sheets that look official! I have googled some of the products, and checked out the ingredients – in particular J512 which is used to sanitise sinks, all surfaces, all items which are handled, buckets, J-fill kits (sprayed onto walls, cabinets, etc) floors, etc has ingredients which are algaecidal, microbicidal. The Panclean product is bactericidal and microbicidal. I list here the other products and if anyone out there has a chemistry background and can explain the effects of these products, especially whether they will negatively impact the microorganisms in a septic system, please contact me, Deborah(at)mullumaction.org and the legal representative from Byron Shire Council, Shannon.Mckelvey(at)byron.nsw.gov.au
The products to be used at proposed Woolworths supermarket, Mullumbimby:
View Quick WW diluted 1:100
Pronto WW diluted 1:4
Reveal WW diluted
Revive WW diluted
Sanibrite liquid diluted 1:200
Soft Care antibac
Sparkle JF diluted
Panclean JF diluted
Breakup Diluted 1:300
J512 JF diluted 1:512
n-Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride CAS 68391-01-5 which is algaecidal and microbicidal - and
n-Akyl Dimethyl Ethylbenzyl Ammonium Chloride CAS 68956-79-6 which is bactericidal/microbicidal
Furthermore, the Department of Planning News Release of 22 January 2008, when they approved the Woolworths Stage 2 with onsite, stipulated Woolworths’
• "Deferring introduction of in-house, water-intensive fresh food preparation areas until a later stage of development which will be linked to the introduction of a reticulated sewer at the site."
It will be interesting to find out whether or not Woolworths are now planning to introduce an in-house, water-intensive fresh food preparation area, before the new Mullumbimby reticulated sewer STP is built.
More news post case.
Merry Christmas to all our readers.
May the New Year be Woolworths-free in Mullumbimby.
Our contact at the L & E court: Duncan Dey: 0429 845440
My mobile: 0435 421053 (Deborah Lilly)
PS: Please see our website www.mullumaction.org and check out the article about Woolworths marketing pokie gambling pubs to children … and how the debate about pokies at the Woolworths AGM was shut down. Woolworths are the biggest operators of pokies in Australia.