Telarah’s debris-laden air has become even heavier while residents wait for a key date and the political dust to settle.
Cr Henry Meskauskas defended accusations levelled by Maitland MP and Minister for Heritage and Environment Robyn Parker that announcing the air quality monitor was premature and about point scoring.
“It’s all well and good for Robyn Parker to say it is premature to announce the monitoring equipment is coming when she should be looking at it and saying ‘the DA is in, so the money must be there’,” he said.
“I don’t know what she is flapping her gums about.
“I have the detailed plans from her department showing the aerial and the wheel on top.”
Ms Parker contacted the Mercury following Tuesday’s article (Telarah gets its air quality monitor ... no choking).
“I think we know what is happening here,” she said.
“It’s an election year and he’s come forward with the story.”
Ms Parker said the DA was only for a concrete pad.
“It is true that the Environmental Protection Agency has sought approval for a concrete pad, in advance, so that when we are ready to install the equipment we can do so quickly,” she said.
Cr Meskauskas said residents deserved better than being forced to wait.
“It’s been five years already,” he said. “How much longer must they wait?”
Ms Parker defended the delay.
“We haven’t got a date yet,” she said.
“This was just preparation, we’ve just got the Upper Hunter network working, this will be an extension of that.
“This was an election promise we made when the former Labor government failed to act.”