Mr Seeney issued a “proposed call-in” notice and asked for submissions both for and against the project to be lodged with the State Infrastructure Department by August 30.
The decision on whether to ?call in? the project and so have it reviewed and dealt with by the State Government will be on September 26, 2013.
Calling in a project allows the government to take the matter away from local government and make the final decision on whether it should be allowed to proceed or not.
The Redlands City Council has twice rejected the application for an extension to the quarry.
If it is ?called in? and the application re-assessed, an appeal against the development in the Planning and Environment Court would be nullified.
Barro Group?s spokesman Ian Ridoutt told Quarry that he believed the project would be ?called-in? and that there was no likelihood of Redlands Council winning the case in court. It would save them money to avoid it, he added.
?It is clear that the Redland councillors did not want to decide the application, they clearly minuted that they wanted the State to make the decision but under the provisions of the Act they had to decide, so they chose refusal,? Ridoutt said.
?There is no doubt that there is a long-term economic need for the quarry and this has been well researched by a number of expert consultants. Just to make sure, the Minister has already engaged his own independent consultant who concluded that there is a ?pervasive and on-going community and economic need for readily accessible quarry products?,? Ridoutt quoted.
Costs vs benefits
Redlands Mayor Karen Williams said council rejected the application in June because its benefits on the community did not outweigh its impacts.
According to the Barro Group, Mr Seeney?s main focus would appear to be to how any potential impacts of the quarry can be managed.
?In this context you need to appreciate that Barro Group own a large tract of land, over 240 hectares with the quarry only using 28 per cent of this, so there are extensive buffers available on Barro?s own land. In any case the quarry is proposed in a rural environment with large adjoining landholdings,? Ridoutt explained.
?The site has been operating for over 50 years and has the benefit of having direct access to a major state-controlled road. Many quarry proposals have poor or inadequate access routes to their markets and it is understandable in these cases that road safety is a major worry for the community.
?Barro Group respects its direct neighbours. We have been neighbours with some for over 20 years and a number are supportive of the quarry extension project, and the design of the quarry and the processing plant has been configured such that the impacts on our neighbours will be well managed and within all the prescribed guidelines.?
Key Resource Area
According to Barro Group the economic credentials of the project are impressive and include more than $30 million of immediate investment in the processing plant and equipment, 50 full-time jobs, and more than $400 million to be spent in the local community over the life of the project.
There are also environmental benefits proposed by Barro that include 170 hectares of their freehold land dedicated for conservation purposes, in particular the enhancement of koala habitat with more than 50,000 new trees to be established.
The project is in a region designated by the State Government as a Key Resource Area.
Sources: Barro Group, Bayside Bulletin, The Redland Times, Ninemsn