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Sand mine under fire from Greens

The New South Wales wing of the Greens says it is not too late for the NSW Government to reconsider the expansion located on the Central Coast that is expected to be approved within weeks.
Rocla Materials plans to expand its mining operation at Peats Ridge by another 36 hectares that will allow for up to 15 million tonnes of sand to be quarried over 30 years. The application has been met by community opposition due to a range of concerns including impact on the region’s water supply.
The NSW Planning Department has recommended the expansion be approved and the development application is now being considered by the department?s Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC).
Around 200 people attended a public meeting in November in a bid to urge the PAC to reject the development, which they say threatens the local aquifer, as well as local indigenous heritage sites and several tourist attractions in the region.
Greens lead community resistance
Greens’ mining spokesman Jeremy Buckingham said he is not giving up the fight. “I’ll certainly be writing to the department, writing to the minister and saying they should re-consider,” he said.
Calga Peats Ridge Community Group spokesman Peter Campbell argued there were large discrepancies with the Department of Planning’s water calculations, based on a hydrological assessment report his group conducted earlier this year. The group found that the amount of water the expanded mine will need is 74 million litres per year but Rocla only has a licence to remove six million litres per year. ?How the heck are they going to do it?” he asked.
The Calga Peats Ridge group has been fighting against the proposed sand quarry expansion since 2005.
Sources: ABC News, The Daily Telegraph

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