Two Dunstan Otago Regional Council councillors have joined a Central Otago protest against their own council's proposed siting of a proposed stock truck effluent disposal site in the region.

Michael Laws and Graeme Bell say they agree with Central Otago District Council councillors who think the proposed site - on SH6 near the Highlands Park corner, near Cromwell - is inappropriate.

District councillors discussing the issue at a meeting last December said the proposed Highlands corner site was not a major route for stock trucks; would mean additional traffic from trucks having to take a detour to the effluent disposal site; and would be unsightly on a major traffic route.

Graeme Bell
Graeme Bell

They agreed with a second site proposed by the regional council, on SH85 near Brassknocker Rd between Alexandra and Chatto Creek, but were annoyed the district council had learned of the location of both sites only several days before the regional council wanted a response from it.

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District councillors were also against the regional council rating Central Otago ratepayers for the maintenance of the Central Otago effluent stock disposal sites, and thought it should be rated across all of Otago.

Mr Laws said the SH6 site was ''clearly the wrong location''.

''It's a tourist gateway and just the wrong place, full stop.''

He said he thought the regional council's model of rating for the costs of maintaining effluent disposal sites was wrong.

Mr Bell said he had argued ''all the way'' for the costs of maintaining effluent disposal sites to be funded through the general rate across all of Otago. He thought there should be a ''user pays'' card system for effluent sites.

He cautioned there could be up to five such sites in Central Otago eventually - an existing one at Raes Junction, and proposed sites near Cromwell and in Springvale, Tarras and Kyeburn - while no sites were proposed in the Queenstown Lakes district. Under the regional council proposal, Central Otago ratepayers would be paying to maintain them all.

He was also against the Highlands corner site, and said he would lobby for a more appropriate site near Cromwell.

ORC director engineering, hazards and science Gavin Palmer said in December regional council staff had discussed the sites with staff from the district council and had undertaken ''considerable consultation'' with the NZ Transport Agency, Road Transport Association, affected landowners and the larger stock transport companies covering Otago and Southland.

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Mr Palmer said the SH6 site was chosen ''based on need and safety. There is spillage of stock truck effluent in the Kawarau Gorge, affecting road safety, the environment and human health''.

The regional council would consult further with the district council, he said.
A report on the issue is due to be discussed at the February 28 district council meeting.