Environmental News

Consent changes linked to community fund

Ardmore Park Quarry, situated at Bungonia 25km southeast of Goulburn, New South Wales, produces both basalt rock and river sand.

Under the current consent, Multiquip is permitted an annual output of 400,000 tonnes, which it wants to increase to 580,000 tpa.

The application, to be decided by the Independent Planning Commission, is currently before the State Government.

The Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) sets out Multiquip’s road maintenance obligations. It calls for the company to contribute 3.85 cents per tonne per kilometre (c/t/km), indexed by inflation, to the council for its haul route. This covers 3.43km of Oallen Ford Road to Bungonia, a 300m section of Mountain Ash Road to Jerrara Road and 14.6km of Jerrara Road to Marulan South Road.

The amount is more than the 3.74c/t/km the company proposed but less than the 4.62c/t/km usually imposed.

The agreement also imposes other obligations, eg:
• Multiquip will rehabilitate pavement where it is shown to be less than 10 years old, before transport operations begin.
• The company will fund and complete resealing of half the haul route, either in-kind or financially, before transport starts.
• The council will fund and re-seal the other half.
• The council will commission a road safety audit after roadworks have been completed, with Multiquip to address any safety issues.
• Multiquip will fund and complete structural assessment of bridges and culverts on the route before transport operations begin.

Road levy fund

Multiquip also proposed that a portion of the funding be contributed to a Bungonia community fund that could be used for local projects.

Goulburn Mulwaree Council has stated that it prefers a separate fund, managed by a committee, which could be modelled on that of other quarries in the area.

The VPA favours a fund that is tied to road levies because the amount would increase with the quarry’s production. Funds would be spent on upgrading the local park with a new toilet block, modern children’s playground and undercover barbeque. The disused tennis courts also need to be removed.

Multiquip has previously contributed $30,000 to painting the village hall.

The company’s managing director Steve Mikosic told the Goulburn Post that he’d work with the council on whatever funding model was adopted and would continue to liaise with the community on projects.

“We want to be part of the community and I can’t see any reason why we wouldn’t get involved,” he said. “We’re getting a lot of positive comments from the community in regard to the improved safety of the road, which is nice to hear.”


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