OH&S News

Council to approve Kin Kin Quarry plan

The Neilsen Group owns the Kin Kin gravel quarry.
Opponents of the quarry have been fighting against its operation for many years, attacking the local council and quarry owners on a number of different and varied issues.
In December 2010, Judge Keith Dodds, in the Maroochydore Planning and Environment Court, dismissed an application by opponents of the quarry for the former Noosa Council approval of a gravel quarry operated by Neilsen?s Quality Gravels to be declared unlawful.
Since then opponents have targeted the quarry?s proposed truck route and truck movements, water treatment, discharge and systems, management plans and its impact on local businesses such as B&Bs and tourism.
Now the Sunshine Coast Council is set to approve the management plan for the quarry?s initial development phase and the opponents are up in arms again asking for tougher controls.
The council report suggests that the council is not entitled to impose tougher controls. Legal opinion suggests that part of the town planning approval, which allowed the council to expand the conditions imposed on the quarry following submission of the management plans, was never legally possible. 
The report says that any extra conditions imposed by the council during approval of the management plan could be successfully challenged in court by the quarry operator. 
Additional conditions could not be retrospectively imposed on the quarry’s operations, despite the wording of the approval, says the report. 
The report describes the new management plan as consistent with previous approvals. However, it acknowledges that Neilsen?s storm water management plans are only adequate for the initial construction phase and recommends the plan only be approved in respect of this initial phase. 
“All we can do is aim to ensure that the environmental impacts and the site operations meet today’s current standards to the extent that our jurisdiction allows,” Cr Wellington said. 
Local opponents also want to restrict truck movements on the only possible truck route, the Pomona-Kin Kin Road, despite the council being unable to lawfully restrict the number of trucks or prohibit them during school bus times.
In accordance with council’s previous resolutions, it has approved allocation of $500,000 in the capital works program for the upgrade of Sheppersons Lane, the road where the quarry is located, which is based on an equivalent contribution being provided by the operators. 
Sources: Neilsen Group, Sunshine Coast Daily, Noosa News

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