Load & Haul

Boral loses Supreme Court appeal

The Court, which ruled on the matter between Boral and the Gold Coast City Council (GCCC), delivered its verdict on 20 April. Boral’s executive general manager Simon Jeffery expressed disappointment at the judgement.

“Obviously we are disappointed with the decision and this is not a good outcome for the Gold Coast,” Jeffery said in a statement issued to Quarry. “The GCCC argued that instead of building this quarry, we could bring in materials from further afield. While this may be possible, the decision by the court makes our job tougher and less economic[al].

“However, we are and will continue to be an integral part of this great community,” he added.

Four-year timeline

In late December 2013, Boral formally lodged a development application (DA) with the GCCC to develop its 65ha Reedy Creek site, which it had purchased for $15.4 million in 2005.

{{Quote-a:r-w:175-I:2-Q:“Obviously we are disappointed with the decision and this is not a good outcome for the Gold Coast.”-WHO:Simon Jeffery, Boral’s executive general manager}}Described as the Gold Coast’s last hard rock site, the site contained reserves of approximately 79 million tonnes. Subsequently, Boral proposed to extract meta-greywacke hard rock at a rate of two million tonnes per annum.

In 2014, approvals were received from both the Federal Environment Minister and the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. However, contrary to their own officers’ recommendations, the GCCC unanimously voted against the application, expressing concerns over noise, dust, traffic and wildlife.

Boral subsequently lodged an appeal with Queensland’s Planning and Environment Court. The court battle ran for seven weeks over a two-year period and was one of the longest in the court’s history, allegedly costing the GCCC millions of dollars. Eventually dismissed in May 2017, Boral went on to lodge an appeal with the Supreme Court in June 2017.

Boral sought leave to appeal on six grounds, including that the ‘primary learned judge’ made errors of interpretation, relevant considerations, adequate reasons, and rationality in the May 2017 decision.

Justices CJ Holmes, JA Gotterson and JA Morrison ruled unanimously that only one of the six grounds was worthy of leave to appeal but in all likelihood that complaint would still be dismissed in an appeals court; therefore leave to appeal was denied.

Of the Supreme Court’s decision, Jeffery noted Boral would “carefully consider the ruling and its future options”.

“We are still encouraged by the Queensland Planning and Environment Court judgement that concluded that the proposed quarry site should be protected for future exploitation, when appropriate,” Jeffery added. “It appears that there is no question that this resource should be utilised – it is just a matter of when.”

More reading
Environment court dismissed appeal for $2 billion quarry
Boral to contest council decision in court
Council thwarts plans for Australia’s “biggest” quarry
Minister grants go-aheads to quarries
Gold Coast rejects Boral application
Setback for Boral at Reedy Creek
Residents rally against Gold Coast quarry

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