Woolies’ neighbours losing sleep over drilling

Chris Dobney

People neighbouring the Woolworths store in Station Street, Mullumbimby, say they have been inundated with noise on a daily basis for the past week caused by drilling works at the site.

Echonetdaily reader Heidi, whose property is opposite, says her young children can’t sleep during the day owing to the noise from the drilling and an associated diesel generator.

Heidi said she was also concerned about ‘a whole heap of chemicals’ loaded onto a ute accompanying the rig ‘probably to lubricate the drill’.

She said neighbours had no correspondence from Byron Shire Council that the works were starting or what they were doing.

‘It went on for four days last week until I made a complaint and the drilling stopped.

‘But they rocked up again at 11am today and told me they’re going to be doing for it for two more weeks.

‘I have huge concerns about my child, who’s had headaches every day because of the noise. It’s barely 20m from my front door. Council should do something about it – it wouldn’t be hard to put noise buffer around it.’

Additionally, she said, ‘it smells really bad. Apparently a septic pump has died.’

It was a condition of Woolworths’ controversial DA to build in Mullumbimby in 2008 that they install their own sewerage works, given that at the time the town’s new sewerage treatment plant had yet to be commissioned.

However, on this occasion it is not Woolworths that is responsible for the work and the noise but Byron Shire Council itself.

Council’s community infrastructure director Phil Holloway told Echonetdaily the works were associated with ‘an essential upgrade program of Mullumbimby sewerage system’.

‘It is anticipated that the drilling rig will continue in the current location until Wednesday lunchtime,’ he said.

‘The machine will then locate slightly towards the rail line and away from houses, which should then improve the noise and odours.

‘While we apologise for the inconvenience it is causing neighbouring properties, the works are necessary to prevent potential overflows of sewage that could cause environmental damage in times of high wet weather,’ he said.


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