Glenlee sand processing plant proposal a danger to the community: candidate

Not good enough: Camden independent candidate Andrew Simpson thinks a sand processing plant will damage Macarthur's environment.
Not good enough: Camden independent candidate Andrew Simpson thinks a sand processing plant will damage Macarthur's environment.

A sand mine processing plant deemed 'too damaging' to the Blue Mountains' environment could soon be built in Macarthur.

And to add insult to injury, Mount Annan and Spring Farm residents will have to deal with thousands of extra truck movements and frieght train noise if the development goes ahead as planned.

Camden independent candidate Andrew Simpson discovered the "dishonest development" while perusing documents related to the proposed Outer Sydney Orbital last year.

He said he did some digging to find out more about the Newnes Kaolin processing plant and what it would mean for the region.

"The draft orbital document mentioned something about what could be built at Glenlee but did not go into too much detail," he said.

"I did a search and everything about this project is available on the internet.

"So why don't Macarthur residents know about such a massive state significant development?"

Why don't Macarthur residents know about such a massive state significant development?

Andrew Simpson, Camden independent candidate

Mr Simpson said the documents detailed future plans for the Glenlee site including rezoning of the land under the Greater Macarthur Growth Area plan.

"I don't understand how the community hasn't been alerted to this major development," he said.

"Spring Farm residents would be well-aware of the tip and all the truck movements it brings but this development would bring more trucks and more noise.

"It has the potential to be a Monday to Friday - and Saturday - 24/7 operation.

"There will also be a freight train running from the plant to where the sand is mined in the Blue Mountains."

The Camden local said the sand could not be processed in the Blue Mountains region due to its designation as a state heritage conservation area.

"The sand is mined 130 kilometres from Camden, I don't see why there isn't a more appropriate location for the processing plant," Mr Simpson said.

"I think it would be a highly inefficient process.

"Why should Macarthur and the Nepean River be flushed with waste materials from the site?"

Mr Simpson said the environmental impacts of the proposed development were not limited to waste from the sand processing operation.

"Noise from the trains and trucks will be bad but there is also a very fine dust that will be produced," he said.

"It will be released into our air. There is also very considerable risk to the Nepean River.

"They (developers) can put in as many mitigation measures they want but the risk to the Nepean and Macarthur in general is significant."

Mr Simpson hopes the Glenlee site could be used for something that would benefit residents. He has proposed a new public transport hub be built at the site instead of industrial use.

"Public transport in Camden is not easily accessible for the forecasted growth of the region let alone the current population," he told the Advertiser last week.

"A large percentage of the people who live here travel outside of the area for work.

"Residents in the south need access to a public transport hub and I think Glenlee is appropriate."

Mr Simpson said it was important for residents to take action now.

"Raise this issue with your state member and candidates in the lead up to the election," he said.

"Ask them why residents weren't made aware of this and why it's okay for Macarthur's environment to be impacted by this."

Documents about the proposed development state construction works are expected to begin this year.

Read more about the proposal here.

We want to hear what you think. Submit a letter to editor Roma Dickins or write to rdickins@fairfaxmedia.com.au.