The council last week voted down Boral’s application, stating the company?s environmental impact statement (EIS) was insufficient.
The council also cited concerns over the impact the proposed quarry would have on traffic on Old Coach Road and on residents living in the hinterland and the project?s incompatibility with Council?s own planning scheme.
Fourteen of the city’s 15 councillors voted against the project in its current form, with one abstaining.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the fate of the proposed Boral quarry near Reedy Creek would rest with the Queensland Government. Last month, the State Government asked Boral for more information about its EIS.
Tate said the council did not support the EIS and more work was needed. “Where I sit right now, personally I don’t want a quarry to be there at all … I don’t want any litigation from Boral so let them go on due process but let’s also send the signal where we stand, our position regarding the Reedy Creek quarry,” he said.
“Overwhelmingly 14 out of 15 councillors do not want the Reedy Creek quarry and now it’s up to the State Government. It’s their decision but it’s our city so we made our voice known that we don’t support the current submission by Boral and so at the very least they have to go back and do more work.”
According to The Gold Coast Bulletin, the vote was “payback” to the Newman Government for attacking councillors over comments criticising community consultation over a proposed cruise ship terminal in the Broadwater.
The Bulletin has claimed the council’s relationship with the State Government has deteriorated, with battles over funding to fix the city’s beaches, funding for the Commonwealth Games and support for the Broadwater Marine Project’s tender process.
The future of the quarry application is now in the hands of Queensland Coordinator-General Barry Broe who can choose to recommend the council reject it, approve it or approve it with conditions.
A spokesman for the Queensland Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning told Quarry that if the Queensland Coordinator-General does approve the project (with or without conditions) ?then the proponent would have to seek development approvals which would put it back before council?.
A decision is expected from the Queensland Coordinator-General early next year.
A Boral spokesperson told Quarry that the Queensland Coordinator-General would assess the technical reports and any submissions of additional information and then make a determination. The company has nothing further to add.
The quarry falls within Division 13 and area councillor Daphne McDonald said the vote confirmed that there was significant opposition to the project.
“I am very happy about this, provided the Newman Government takes notice,” Gold Coast Stop the Quarry chief executive Sam Stewart said. “The residents, council and parliamentarians of the area do not want it, so this quarry proposal should never have got to this point.?
Boral proposed the quarry in 2011 to replace its existing West Burleigh site, expected to close by 2020 and described Reedy Creek as the southern Gold Coast’s last hard rock site. It bought the site for $15.4 million in December 2005.
More than 258 objections were received by Boral during the community consultation period. In June, the council asked Boral to review and reassess aspects of the study while the State Government had asked for more details on the impact the quarry would have on the environment.
Quarry tried to contact Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate for further comment but did not receive a reply prior to publication.
Sources: Boral, Gold Coast Bulletin, ABC News, The Queensland Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning