Maroochydore Sands director Michael Mullins said the proposed development is a sand extraction site and not a sand mine, as many local residents had been reportedly informed.
Residents had previously expressed concerns about the potential effects of the project, citing concern over visual impacts, the effects on respiratory health and impacts on local traffic.
In an interview with The Sunshine Coast Daily, Mullins said that fears over possible airborne grains causing respiratory issues did not apply to simple sand extraction operations such as the one his company is proposing.
“Sand mining usually entails a more detailed process, including drying and dry screening which often creates airborne particle issues, whereas extraction equates to the same process as beach dredging,” he explained.
“Being involved in a business that would be harmful to children, families or other local residents is not something I would ever consider,” Mullins added.
“Our plant and our operation would be about as dangerous as a day on the beach.”
On its website, Maroochydore Sands has announced it is planning to “develop a small wet screening and wash plant”. The company insists that the sand will not be “mechanically dried, dry screened or crushed” and the sand remains “wet through the screening and washing process”.
The Sunshine Coast Council has previously explained its original reasons for ruling against the proposed sand quarry site in October 2016. It stated: “There is a potential for suspended solids in the waters from the extraction pits to have an adverse impact on the waters of Eudlo Creek, due to the likelihood of regular flooding of the site.”
The council also cited the “potential for poor water quality within [the quarry] in the post-extraction period as a result of stratification, turnover, or weed or algal growth.”
Maroochydore Sands is appealing the decision in Brisbane’s Planning and Environment Court. The appeal will be heard in Brisbane on 23 March.