Opponents to the proposed new regional landfill in the Dome Valley are calling on Auckland Council to delay the resource consent process while the country is in lockdown.
Council publicly notified Waste Management’s resource consent and zone change application yesterday, March 26, which gives 40 working days for interested people and organisations to make submissions on the plans.
However, Fight the Tip members say the whole process should be stalled at least until libraries reopen, where the public are able to view all the documents and obtain and complete submission forms.
Executive member Michelle Carmichael says she is angry and concerned that the Council process is proceeding at a time of upheaval and uncertainty, when people should be focused on their wellbeing and their families, not making submissions.
“This situation is unprecedented. In my opinion the application should be put in lockdown, just like we are,” she says.
“Some wishing to submit may have no online access and application documents held at libraries can no longer be viewed due to lockdown and closures.
“The executive was also going to host an information session to help people have access to our group submission. This, too, is highly unlikely to happen, as even after the lockdown, there maybe future restrictions on large gatherings again.”
Another executive member, Susan Crockett, says the situation is frustrating for many people.
“Nobody could have foresee what is happening now with COVID-19 and the current lockdown,” she says. “It completely changes the ability of this community to communicate and interact as we had planned.”
Principal project lead Warwick Pascoe said on Friday morning Council was working to see what could be done to make sure everyone had access to all the information, and a statement would be released later.
“We have been giving this a lot of thought,” he said.
Waste Management said it was liaising with Council regarding any possible amendment to the closing date for submissions. It said that although physical copies could not currently be accessed, documents could be provided electronically by contacting Council on 09 365 3786 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
All the application documents can be found online at: www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/have-your-say/have-your-say-notified-resource-consent/notified-resource-consent-applications-open-submissions/Pages/ResourceConsentApplication.aspx?itemId=393&applNum=BUN60339589