Full house attends SITA information session at York Town Hall

Around 300 people attended SITA Australia’s information session about its proposed Allawuna Farm landfill site at the York Town Hall on Monday, November 19 at 2pm.

The session was filmed and recorded. 

WA State general manager of SITA Australia Nial Stock was there to answer questions, saying SITA was doing its best to tell the community of its project’s progress. 

The comment drew laughter from the audience. 

SITA estimates it is 20 per cent through the process, and while there is no application before the York Shire Council at this stage, it would go as far with its proposal as possible. 

It is estimated to take $8 to $9 million to prepare the site, meaning the decision will be beyond the York Shire Council’s jurisdiction, as it can decide development applications only within a $3 to $7 million price range.  

A development assessment panel would determine the application. 

Mr Stock said he believes SITA runs the best landfills in the world, however during the session acknowledged “sometimes we stuff things up and say this is what we’ll do to fix it.” 

Mr Stock said SITA has no intention to mine clay at the site and the 150,000 tonnes of rubbish to be dumped was “an indication, it could be less or it could be more” but nonetheless remained “close estimates”.

SITA would like to generate electricity from the landfill, bringing power for up to 3000 homes by burning methane gas. 

After a PowerPoint presentation the session was opened up to questions, with people lining up in the centre of the hall and given a microphone.  

They were required to provide their name, address and to refrain from making statements. 

Residents said the timing of the session was poor, with many people at work unable to attend or simply unaware.  

Shire of York residents denounced the proposed site, asking SITA to buy land elsewhere and leave York alone. 

“What are you going to put into my town except rubbish?”, one attendee asked. 

Mr Stock said he did not think nearby properties would be impacted by the landfill, to which a Shire of York resident responded by saying SITA could not guarantee anything. 

Upon entering the hall, attendees were asked to sign their names on a register to receive ongoing updates on the landfill. 

One York resident later questioned the move, asking if the names would be used as support. 

Mr Stock said this would not take place.

At one point during the session, an attendee asked for a show of hands for and against the proposed landfill, with about four people in support.

Northam identity Belle Moore asked about possible seismic activity at the site, which she said has not been addressed by SITA, with Mr Stock stating he was not sure how the landfill would react to such an incident. 

A common concern raised by many was the loss of tourists, heritage and road safety along The York - Lakes Road. 

Mr Stock said SITA would make a submission to Main Roads to improve safety along the road. 

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