A developer has permission to expand a small-scale quarry, ending a prolonged application process that included satisfying acoustic conditions for changes to the road network.
On 22 January, the Gympie Regional Council (GRC) approved a development application for a material change of use for a Gympie quarry operation, on the Old Bruce Highway between Kybong and Traveston, allowing it to extract up to 100,000 tonnes per annum.
The site previously had planning permission for rural pursuits and small-scale extraction activities. It has previously supplied aggregates to council projects and has the capability to process material for other projects at present.
The development, which courted eight submissions, including one petition with 53 signatures, will primarily extract gravel and crushed and screened rock.
Once operational, the quarry will be active between 7am and 6pm Monday to Saturday, excluding public holidays, and will feature a range of machinery and equipment, including an excavator, bulldozer, on-site dump truck loader, mobile crushing and screening plant and a water truck that is filled from nearby settlement ponds and dams.
The mobile crushers will be operated on-site by sub-contractors, with customers expected to supply their own haulage trucks.
The decision ends a three-year wait for approval after the GRC requested an amended acoustic report. This was due to a nearby dwelling that had been omitted from an original noise assessment in February 2017.
The assessment was also based on “out of date background noise levels” taken prior to the opening of a new section of the Old Bruce Highway. According to the council, the Old Bruce Highway, as it was, would have provided a ‘masking’ effect during daytime hours and to some extent during the early evening hours due to motorists travelling home from work.
“This would not be the current case due to the opening of the new section of the Bruce Highway which has taken a substantial volume of traffic away from the old route,” GRC minutes read. “It can be reasonably assumed that the reduction in traffic will correlate to a reduction in background noise levels.”
A revised acoustic report was submitted in April 2018. In total it has been amended twice to address both issues.
GRC councillors voted to approve the project, a key condition being that an existing 5m high earth embankment on the western side of the quarry is extended through an arc to the north and north-east, at the same height.