KOROIT residents were frustrated yesterday morning after waking up to smoke from a building company’s burn-off near Commercial Road.
The large heap on vacant blocks started to burn at 3am, according to disturbed neighbours living less than 20 metres away.
Nearby resident Steve Mackey said he contacted Moyne Shire Council about the Rodger Constructions fire, after warning the council about the large heap on Sunday.
Mr Mackey said although it was put out in the morning, the heap continued to smoke through the neighbourhood into the day.
“I’ve come in to work this morning and my hair and jumper smell of smoke,” he said.
“It’s not the first time they’ve tried to smoke out the west side of Koroit.
“They’ve tried to do it before and the council is not very effective in stopping them. They decided to light this time right outside some units’ back gardens.
“There was nobody attending it at 7am.
“Blocks on this site will already have fetched the developer more than $1 million … so there can be no excuse for not moving this heap by truck.”
Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said she was woken up at 3am. “Smoke was coming through the house,” she said. “My asthma reliever had a fair bit of use.
“They burnt off once before with the initial clearing, but that was a lot further back than this.”
Moyne Shire Council health and regulatory services manager Robert Jehu said permission for the burn-off was given, valid for Friday when the conditions were right and the wind was blowing away from neighbouring properties.
“The developer tried to light the heap but couldn’t get it to catch and gave up,” Mr Jehu said.
“Some embers must have been smouldering because the fire sparked up again about 3am this morning (Monday).
“Our on-call local laws officer was notified and supervised while the fire was put out.”