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Council could delay Hanson quarry expansion

Hanson Australia’s proposed Sancrox Quarry expansion could face delays after local councillors outlined plans to write to the state authority requesting further analysis and public scrutiny.

On 11 December, 2019, Port Macquarie-Hastings councillors asked the council’s general manager Craig Swift-McNair to lodge a submission of concern with the New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry and Environment over the project.

Councillors also agreed Swift-McNair should write to both the local State MPs and the NSW Minister of Planning to inform them of the submission and outline several community concerns.

Swift-McNair will also request their support in persuading the department to put the project on hold, “pending further detailed analysis and public scrutiny”.

According to the council, residents have taken issue with a lack of interaction and consultation with a project consultative committee, as well as transparency with the broader community. They have also questioned the adequacy and integrity of the environmental impact statement (EIS), which was out for consultation until 11 December.

In its EIS, Hanson has expressed confidence that the proposed expansion project can be implemented with minimal environmental impact and will create economic benefits through greater market competition.

If approved, the operation, located 8km west of Port Macquarie, NSW, would enlarge the existing 17ha quarry footprint to 48ha. It would also involve the construction of a new concrete batch plant, asphalt production plant and concrete recycling facility.

The existing quarry has a 20-year approval but Hanson wants to extend its life to 30 years.

The company is proposing to extract more than 500,000 tonnes of material per year from more than five million tonnes of reserves. It also wants to perform 24/7 quarry operations, including production and maintenance, as well as around-the-clock truck movements and equipment loading.

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