A West Tamar Councillor has cast doubt on
whether the Beaconsfield mine is entirely responsible for seismic activity in the town. Joy
Allan, who lives in Beaconsfield, claimed most homes in the town had cracks in them, including her
own.

“Many houses on the hill behind the town suffered from cracked walls
long before the mine was reopened. Behind that hill there is a large quarry and
it’s possible they are to blame, I know that many of those homes were quickly
repaired and sold.”

Ms Allan made the statement following a heated council meeting on
Tuesday where a motion was passed stating that the group acted appropriately
when dealing with the mine. However she was dismissive of other councillors’
claims that it was decided to conceal the tremor induced damage at a closed
meeting held in February.

“Someone did say, ‘I hope this doesn’t affect house prices’, but it was
just an idle comment.”

The Beaconsfield mine employed a
firm of structural engineers to examine damaged homes and report back to them
earlier this year.

Mike Lester, who is handling media enquiries for the mine, said he
didn’t know how many homes had been looked at or what the end outcome
would be. “I do know that some of the damage wasn’t the result of
mining activity
but due to natural shrinkage. I am only new to this, and that question
hasn’t
come up before now. I don’t have an answer for you.”

Crikey has been informed that the engineering firm visited 22 homes and
found that nine of them weren’t damaged because of mining activities.

Ms Allan confirmed that the firm had visited her home and found the
damage to be related to mining. “They, the mine, sent me a report on the 12th of January
confirming the findings and that the mine would pay for the necessary repair
work. They haven’t given me a timeframe for when that work will be
undertaken,” Ms Allan concluded.

Peter Fray

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