By Luke Voogt
Carbon fallout from a controversial industrial site has angered North Geelong residents after blanketing their properties this week.
Caroline McGrane, who lives in nearby Slevin St, said the carbon blackened parts of her home and pet dog on Monday.
“We seem to be in the firing line of that factory – I can’t even hang washing on my clothesline.”
Property owner Teleta Nominees caused this week’s fallout during clean-up operations following the departure of tenant and plastics manufacturer Axieo in December, Ms McGrane said.
“They’re pointing the finger at each other but neither being affected – the residents are.”
Worksafe closed the site for investigations on Wednesday following calls from residents.
Another Slevin St resident Ron Clarke said the carbon also covered his property.
“My driveway’s full of it. Every time they do anything out there it comes out of the vents.”
Mr Clarke contacted WorkSafe after wife Joan spoke to an on-site worker covered in carbon but without protective gear.
The site was a “dump” with sheets of fibro, plastic and “God knows what just flapping in the wind”, Mr Clarke said.
“They need to something do about the property – it’s absolutely filthy.”
Teleta Nominees director Ryan McGarigle said residents’ “harassment” continuously delayed the clean-up.
He raised doubts over the complaints, saying carbon from the site had left white cars and boats in neighbouring streets unaffected.
“Some of the residents have been very understanding. They know that we’re here and that we are trying to clean the place up.”
Mr McGarigle blamed the concerns on the complaints of one resident.
“I don’t know, maybe it just landed on her house.”
Workers wore appropriate protective gear at the site, Mr McGarigle said.
“But they tend to take it off when they get outside.”
Residents said the factory’s former tenants had made an effort to clean any instances of carbon fallout.
The site’s former factory manager Charlie Turner Axeio said he never “had an issue in the whole time there”.
“Six companies have used that plant over 60 years – where do you start pointing the finger?”
He declined to respond to Ms McGrane’s claims regarding the fires leading up to the closure.
A WorkSafe spokesperson confirmed the authority had attended the site following complaints about demolition work carried out appropriately.
Environmental Protection Authority investigations indicated that dust from the factory contained “carbon black”.
“Carbon black can have health impacts, but from long-term exposure,” an EPA spokespersons said.
Mr McGarigle said he had plans for the factory but declined to elaborate before applying for council approval.
In 2014 council rejected Teleta’s plans for a chemical facility on a nearby site amid complaints from residents.