Landowner Antony Cornwell concerned over new Lake Bolac grain storage drain to his Salt Lake property

Lake Bolac landowner Anthony Cornwell has accused Ararat Rural City Council of approving a drain from the town’s grain storage and transport hub towards his property without adequate consultation.

Mr Cornwell has not accused the companies at the hub of any wrongdoing, but he was concerned that, in the event of a fire or a chemical or diesel spill, his land could be contaminated.

Ararat Rural City Council approved a planning permit in 2016 to build the new drain, which Mr Cornwell said would result in a 600-millimeter culvert under Mortlake-Ararat Road.

The council said the approval and design met standards.

Mr Cornwell has 45 acres of land between the road and Salt Lake, where he kept horses for his grandchildren to ride.

“I’ve had concerns for two years about runoff from the whole area, the industrial estate,” he said.

“I appreciate that Lake Bolac needs its businesses but we also need to be aware of the impact to the environment.

“I believe there has not been any impact study done.”

Mr Cornwell said he had worked for a construction company on similar types of projects.

In a statement, Ararat Rural City Council said it had been in contact with Mr Cornwell.

“Council issued a planning permit for the use and development of a grain storage facility in 2016 and the planning department approved the drainage plan last year,” the statement said.

“The drainage pipe under the road is the joint-responsibility of VicRoads and Council as drainage authority.

“The planning permit was advertised to adjoining owners and the advice of Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority and VicRoads was sought prior to approval.

“The approved drainage plan included an environmental assessment in terms of water quality and the capacity meets Infrastructure Design Manual standards.

“The environmental compliance is the responsibility of a number of agencies including GHCMA, EPA Victoria and Council.”