BY CHRISTOPHER HARRIS
It was almost beach weather in Bondi last Saturday, but a group of local residents opted for demonstration rather than taking a dip.
The group held a peaceful protest outside a construction site they claim is producing unnecessary levels of dust and disturbance for locals in the numerous apartment buildings nearby.
The small group of residents said that they had experienced adverse health effects such as chest congestion and headaches after construction began on the site in Ocean St.
One person said that the group was not anti-development, but would like to see some effort to mitigate the dust, which they say has affected their health, and measures to reduce noise.
Protest organiser Jennifer Chrone said that the developer, Mirvac, was not abiding by Waverly Council’s development consent, because it specified that “noise and dust must not be permitted to injure the amenity of our neighbourhood”.
“Waverley Council has received a large number of complaints about dust and noise from the Mirvac site. We want the council to stand up to its responsibility to save our health,” Ms Crone said.
One resident said they had a “constant cough” that couldn’t be fixed.
“I keep all doors and windows closed and have a constant headache from the noise,” she said.
But a Waverley Council spokesperson said that the council had received only ‘a small number of complaints’ concerning noise and dust around the development.
“Mirvac has gone beyond what the DA consent required by engaging their own consultants to log and respond to community complaints and issues,” the spokesperson said in a statement to City Hub.
“Council has been liaising with Mirvac during the project and we are not aware of any violation of the development consent in relation to the amenity of the neighbourhood. Council has received reports in relation to dust and vibration as a result of monitors located in various places within the site. They indicate compliance with the required standard.”
Head of Mirvac Residential John Carfi said disruption was inevitable, but that he company had gone to great lengths to minimise the impact.
He said to assist dust suppression, the project team has six high pressure water gurneys operating on site during construction hours, has daily street sweepers to ensure surrounding roads are kept clean and has dedicated respite periods for bulk excavation works.
“Our development team has been in regular contact with the Owners’ Corporations of neighbouring buildings and we have kept Waverley Council fully updated of all our activities,” Mr Carfi told City Hub.
“All works have been carried out under the conditions approved in the Development Application with all the necessary notifications and approvals obtained.”
Waverly Councillor Dominic Wy Kanak addressed those at the protest, and said it was important that they made their concerns known to the council so concerns could be addressed.
The four buildings under construction on the site range in height from two to eight storeys, and construction will continue until December 2016.
One protestor pointed out that it was important to address health concerns early because it was near a school and a pre school.
Ms Crone said it was Waverley Council’s responsibility to enforce rules around the development consent.
“Council is comprised of our elected representatives, and it is their, role, and it is their job, to respond when health and safety concerns are raised and they have regulatory powers under the law which they are legally required to enforce.”