Health Minister Lawrence Springborg.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg. Nicholas Falconer

Grain facility sparks community complaints over dust levels

SEVERAL Allora residents are not impressed with the level of dust and amount of noise created by the Grain X Australia facility but owner Chris Hood said the company was doing everything in its power to manage the situation.

The unhappy residents, who did not want their names disclosed, all said the amount of dust was not acceptable.

"I have to have my front door and windows closed so the dust doesn't get in," one resident said.

"The dust is so fine it still gets through the fly screen under all the doors."

Another resident said the dust had caused her several health problems.

"I had a nose bleed the other day," she said. "I have never had a nose bleed before."

The residents also expressed concerns about dust in their tank water.

Director of the Darling Downs Public Health Unit Dr Penny Hutchinson said there were ways to filter the dust from the water.

"If they use a filter on their rainwater, which they should already, it should help remove the dust," she said.

"A lot of things cause nose bleeds and you can't say it was just caused by the dust," she said.

Health Minister and Member for the Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg agreed with Dr Hutchinson.

"I will say that if any person has genuine health concerns then I encourage them to seek medical advice," he said.

"Individuals react differently to dust and for some people it can be an irritant.

"I have not been formerly advised about any issues from the health department."

Mr Hood said he went above and beyond to stop the dust from spreading.

"We have a water truck to try and contain the dust but if it is a windy day dust will blow," he said.

"We go out of our way to manage the dust."

The residents said they never had any problems with noise or dust when it was run by former grain company Grain Co.

They were also unhappy with Mr Hood's operating hours.

Mr Hood said he could legally operate 24 hours a day but tried his best to stick to normal work hours.

"It just the nature of the business," he said.

"We've always tried to put ourselves in their shoes and ask what it would be like to live next door."

As for the noise Mr Hood admitted the metal silos did make noise but said concrete silos were no longer built.

The Southern Downs Regional Council was unable to comment by time of print but will respond today.