Downs residents say 'health issues are due to dust'
HENDON residents are being inundated by clouds of dust, blowing in from dry unsealed roads and they've had enough.
A letter was recently sent to the Southern Downs Regional Council on behalf of concerned residents who say the dust problem is adversely affecting their health.
The letter dated January 2 claims more than 90 homes in the area are subjected to chronic road dust.
Hendon resident Anne Rigbye said residents were sick of it.
"I've spoken to a lot of people in this area and there are at least 10 residents who have some sort of serious respiratory problem from asthma to nasty chest coughs," she said.
"It's no coincidence, and there's no doubt the amount of dust we have to deal with here is exacerbating health concerns."
Husband Rex Rigbye said residents completed a council survey in 2013.
"They came out here and they promised us they would seal the roads within 18 months, but that's just been completely ignored," he said.
"We're not asking for any great kilometres, but there are certain sections that need attention fast."
The couple moved from Barron St to Allora St a few years ago.
"We knew it would be dustier here as there's more traffic going to and from the steel works," Mr Rigbye said.
"But we bought under the impression that council was planning to do something, as they'd indicated to us."
Mrs Rigbye, who sounds as though she has a constant cold, said she started developing respiratory issues after living in Hendon for a couple of years.
"I had all the scans and tests to see what it was," she said.
"But in the end it's diagnosed as asthma attributed to dust."
Around the corner in Goomburra St, Judy Edwards was forced to retire from her job well before retirement age, when her respiratory illness became too much to bear.
"Our house is for sale," she said.
"We built here on the word of council acknowledging they would be back to seal the roads a few years ago.
"We have to keep the house closed all the time and if it's windy I'm completely confined to the house."
Mrs Edwards said she had always had asthma but it had worsened greatly in recent years.
"I need oxygen at times," she said.
"Nine times I've been taken to hospital in an ambulance suffering breathing difficulties.
"It's the dust, no doubt at all - so many people here are having the same problems."
Mrs Edwards said she knew of another woman in the area selling up due to chronic and worsening asthma.
A Southern Downs Regional Council spokeswoman confirmed the council had received correspondence regarding a request to seal roads in Hendon.
"Council is aware of concerns regarding dust from the gravel roads impacting on residences in Hendon and many other areas," she said.
"Dusty conditions have been exacerbated by the recent hot dry conditions."
The spokeswoman said the council had no obligation to seal gravel roads.
"However a project to extend bitumen seals on some Hendon roads has been proposed in council's indicative four-year capital plan, but this plan is subject annually to council's budget review process," the spokeswoman said.