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Koala concerns delay quarry blasting application

The application was lodged with Lismore City Council earlier this year for McDonalds Quarry, which is located in Ruthven, New South Wales.

The quarry has been in operation since the early 1990s and was granted consent in May 1996 to increase production from its initial 6000m3 per annum allowance to a maximum 14,700m3 per annum. At the time of approval, the quarry was estimated to have 73 years of life remaining.

The quarry owner is now proposing to undertake up to five blasts per annum at the 43ha site. In the current application, the owner explained blasting was necessary to access hard rock that had been discovered at shallower depths than initially anticipated in the quarry’s original development application.

During the public consultation period, the council received six submissions from the community, with one of the main concerns raised being the impact the proposed blasting activity would have on local koala populations.

The council requested further information from the quarry owner on this matter but the document that the owner subsequently submitted was “not considered to adequately demonstrate there will be no adverse impact on koalas as a result of the proposed blasting activities”, according to the council’s meeting minutes.

Despite a council development assessment officer’s recommendation that the application be refused, a council spokesperson told Quarry the council had decided to defer its decision on the application to an as yet undetermined date, pending receipt of additional information.

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