Road Transport

End of year cheer for quarry extensions

Bundaberg Regional Council has approved an application from Booyal Quarries to expand its operation by five times. The upgrade will allow an increase in capacity of quarry material from 100,000 tonnes per year to 500,000 tonnes per year.
A complaint was lodged by a neighbouring property alleging breaches of conditions under the company’s previous approval relating to noise, operating outside of approved operational hours and dust from an unformed road and blasting.
The Council?s planning and development spokesperson Councillor Ross Sommerfeld said an appropriate road had now been constructed to minimise dust issues and provide a much safer trafficable route. He added that blasting conditions were now contained within the new approval.
Council documents state that the company purchased the majority of properties around the site in an effort to minimise impact on neighbouring property owners.
A proposed $250,000 quarry extension at Rawsonville near Dubbo is likely to get a green light this week.
The Dubbo Sands project requires approval from the Western Joint Regional Planning Panel (WJRPP) because it is an extractive industry. The WJRPP said the larger quarry would be required to report to the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority.
The development application (DA) is the sole item on the agenda of the planning panel when it meets at Dubbo.
The proposal is to increase the output (sand and gravel) of the quarry from 30,000 tonnes per year to 150,000 tonnes per year by increasing the area of extraction by 11 hectares and the recoverable resource by 1.6 million tonnes, council staff said in a report to the council last month.
Council planning services supervisor Darryll Quigley said in his report the DA complied with relevant state and local planning laws and policies and would contribute positively to the Dubbo economy.
The report also includes 21 draft conditions of consent.
A quarry has been approved for Gin Gin in Queensland with permission to extract nearly 50,000 tonnes of gravel each year. The quarry is on land owned by Gin Gin divisional councillor Wayne Honor.
Cr Honor will not run the quarry, though. He will lease 1.4 hectares of his land to Jason MacDonald of Jaxview Transport.
Cr Honor said the application came after he was approached by MacDonald to buy gravel from his land. “I said I would sell him the gravel if he got all the relevant permits,” Cr Honor said.
As a result, MacDonald submitted a Material Change of Use for Extractive Industries to the Bundaberg Regional Council. The application was approved at a Bundaberg Regional Council Planning Committee meeting and where Cr Honor excused himself from the vote due to his conflict of interest.
A condition of the approval was given that unlike approved expansions of the Booyal quarry near Childers, the Gin Gin quarry would not be allowed to undertake any blasting. “We just shave it with a dozer, we don’t need to do blasting,” MacDonald explained.
The quarry on Cr Honor’s land will not be only quarry operating in the area with another across the road. Council planning officer Grant Johnson told the meeting that a licensing question mark had been raised in relation to the other quarry.
“Questions have been raised if the existing quarry has relevant approvals,” Johnson said.
MacDonald said the application process for the quarry on Cr Honor?s land was costing around $35,000.
Sources: Bundaberg News Mail, Daily Liberal, ABC News, The Gladstone Observer

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