Council thwarts plans for Australia?s “biggest” quarry

The Gold Coast City Council has voted unanimously against Boral's $2.2 billion Gold Coast Quarry project, which has met with strong opposition from local residents and delayed by additional procedural requirements since it was first proposed.

The Gold Coast Bulletin quoted area councillor Daphne McDonald as saying, “This is an excellent outcome for the community out there. It was going to be the biggest quarry in Australia in a residential area. I understand it was going to be the second biggest in the world.”

The council’s decision followed a recommendation made by its city planning committee only days earlier to refuse the Gold Coast Quarry development application at Reedy Creek. During the meeting, it was said that committee members expressed concerns about the noise, dust and traffic that would result if the project were to proceed.

State government interest
This is not the first time the Gold Coast Quarry application has been turned down. In October 2013, the council rejected the proposal, citing insufficient environmental impact statement (EIS) information. The EIS was subsequently approved by Queensland Coordinator-General Barry Broe in late December 2013, prompting Boral to lodge a formal development application.

Gold Coast City Council planning committee chairman Cameron Caldwell told ABC News that it was possible the Queensland Government would again overrule the council’s decision.

“They [the Queensland Government] have said very clearly that they are interested in this development proceeding but they hopefully will have regard to what council’s view is and that is … we've refused the application,” Caldwell said.

According to Boral, the project is “critical” for the region as the proposed site contains “the last and largest known deposit of hard rock resource (high strength meta-greywacke quarry rock) on the southern Gold Coast”.

It was proposed to replace Boral’s existing West Burleigh Quarry, which is expected to deplete its reserves in five to eight years. The Gold Coast Quarry’s proposed site is estimated to contain reserves of about 79 million tonnes which Boral claims “has the potential to supply the Gold Coast region with high grade construction materials for more than 40 years”.

Boral released a statement saying that the company was “disappointed” by the council’s recent decision to refuse its application and that it would “now consider its response”. The company argued that the council’s decision was “contrary to the recommendation from its own officers, the Queensland Coordinator-General’s December 2013 recommendation that the Council approve the project subject to conditions, and the January 2014 Federal Government approval of the project under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act”.

Source: Boral, Gold Coast City Council, Gold Coast Bulletin, ABC News


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