Thursday, May 27, 2010

On the nose

PAKENHAM’S sickening stink has returned with a vengeance.

Cardinia Shire Council fielded ‘a handful’ of complaints about the stench last week, when some residents noted the smell around Bald Hill Road and the Henty Park estate.

Business owner Michael Porter said the smell had returned after a brief hiatus.

“It gets inside our factory and then we can’t get it out, the workers are sick of it and so am I. It seems to be in the mornings and evenings. It has been fairly good for a few months but this last fortnight it is back with a vengeance,” he said.

Pakenham resident Nola Ellis said the stench had been blanketing Henty Park since Sunday afternoon.

“It smells like compost to us, rotten,” she said.

Fellow resident Joanne Miles described the smell as ‘mouldy old rubbish’ while Jacqui Haysom said it was more like ‘rotting bodies.’

Karen Muntz said it smelt like a cover-up. “It smells like garbage that’s had eucalyptus leaves mulched through it, like they are trying to cover the smell … it really makes it smell odd and made me gag while I was driving,” she said.

And while some people are certain of the stink, others living in the same areas say the smell is not so bad.

Christian Smith said he lived off Bald Hill Road but wasn’t offended by the smell.

“At least once a year we get smells from the surrounding farms. I think people need to harden up,” he said. Melanie Leighton said the smell had been in Pakenham on and off for 28 years, while Christian Smith said it just smelt like chicken poo.

“It’s not that bad. The people complaining obviously haven’t been to a farm,” he said.

But a new Pakenham resident said she was ‘nearly sick’ after the smell seeped into the house.

“I’ve never experienced this before … it’s not the best advertisement for the town,” she said.

Cardinia Shire Council spokesman Paul Dunlop said the council understood residents’ concerns and was working towards a solution.

“We have previously worked with business operators and the EPA to reduce odours emanating from local business operators and will continue to do so in the future,” he said.

“Appropriate action will be taken to address any unauthorised activity relating to odours recognised as a nuisance or which have emanated as a result of a breach of planning regulations.

“We value residents’ opinions and are committed to open, honest, two-way communication.

If residents feel a particular smell is stronger on some days than others, they are encouraged to contact council on 1300 787 624.

We ask residents to take note of the time of day, wind direction, odour type and strength and where they believe it is originating from.”

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