The Macedon Ranges Shire Council recently approved the proposed expansion of Fulton Hogan’s Tylden Quarry.
The operator lodged an application in November 2015 to extend the footprint of its central Victoria-based quarry from 8ha to 28ha, as well as to increase its production limit from 220,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) to 500,000 tpa.
It was said the extension would allow Fulton Hogan to maintain “the long term viability of the quarry”, including the project’s support of the local community and provision of employment opportunities.
Council planning officers recommended support for the approval. “The Tylden Quarry is of local significance, servicing the general region and providing economic development to the local community,” the planning officers’ report concluded. “It is considered that the applicant is an existing and an experienced quarry operator and the continued operation of the quarry and expansion and development at the site would not pose unreasonable impacts on the amenity of the area.”
During the public consultation period, the council received 30 objections to the project. These generally related to amenity issues, including concerns about dust, noise and the quarry’s visual impact. There were also calls for production to be capped at current levels.
Councillors appeared to be divided on the matter. Minutes from the latest Macedon Ranges Shire Council meeting showed a motion to carry the council planning officers’ recommendation was put forward and lost, with another councillor moving to revise the planning permit’s conditions.
Under the new conditions, Fulton Hogan would be subject to a production limit of 300,000 tpa. It is understood the quarry’s operating hours were also restricted to reduce the quarry’s impact.
The new proposal was carried after a close vote of four to three.
Macedon Ranges Shire Council CEO Peter Johnston told ABC News there was now an opportunity for both Fulton Hogan and the objectors to appeal the outcome to the state tribunal.
“I think it’s a good balance and a good compromise overall but the decision [on] whether there will be an appeal will be obviously up to the applicants and the objectors to determine over the coming weeks,” he stated.