By Emily-Rose Toohey
Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) committed to reviewing its kerbside waste expansion decision in April via a survey, and the results showed a sixty per cent response rate.
Of the residents in the expansion area, a council spokesperson said that 59.2 per cent of surveys were returned and 40.8 per cent were not returned.
The matter of the bins has been contested by residents, including those at Wallangarra living on Lower Paling Yard Road.
In a letter written last month, eight property owners expressed their discontent with the survey and said it was an after-thought in an effort for council to implement damage control measures.
“If the council were genuinely interested in obtaining ‘feedback’ regarding the introduction of a ‘domestic waste and recycling collection service’, surely the time for a ‘survey’ would have been prior to the decision being made, infrastructure put into place, and ‘unwanted’ bins deposited at properties without any form of ‘prior community consultation’,” the letter said.
“In addition, we consider the survey to be misleading at least.”
Other complaints about the bin service have come from the Granite Belt area, which differed from residents in Maryvale who did not dwell on the subject at its Connecting With Council Meeting in April.
Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) Mayor Vic Pennisi said he thought the survey response rate was fairly high, and this was just one measure council committed to undertaking in its review.
According to a council report, this included considering the financial viability of waste management, community requests and correspondence, and a phone survey to a selected number of landowners.
The bin expansion’s three months free period ends on 30 June, and ratepayers now await council’s decision in the aftermath of the review.