Long-winded WA quarry expansion approved

NLG Sands will excavate a further 340m to the south, 200m to the south west and 190m to the west of its existing site in Mandurah. The proposal that went before the council was to keep the quarry operating for the next 20 years.

At the planning community development and sustainability committee meeting on 14 August, the council resolved to defer the decision to full council.

The full council has since met and unanimously approved the continuation and expansion of the NLG Sands quarry.

Mitch Nizich, owner of NLG Sands, said sand extracted from the quarry was used in Mandurah.

?There is no other sand resource in the city,? he said. ?There are a number of issues here, one being the lack of available sand for future development.

?[The Council] have recognized the site as a priority resource area to meet the future growing need for the local area and southern areas of Perth as building sand continues to diminish,? Nizich said.

?The site has a potential 35 million cubic metres of building sands which will future proof developments already planned and into the future.?

Nizich explained that the process had been drawn out over six years with all State and Federal approvals being granted early in the process but the local councillors initially refused to grant approval against the advice of their planning officers for the expansion.

?They were under pressure from a few local residents and had an uninformed perception of impacts from the quarry,? Nizich said, so he consequently lodged an appeal with the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT).

Through the SAT mediation process, the councillors were able to gain a better understanding of the minimal impacts to local residents and the benefits to the community from the proposal.

The mediation process led to the application being re-submitted to the full council as a part of the mediation process. The council unanimously approved the sand quarry expansion for a further 20 years.

The 20-year approval is one of the longest granted on a sand extraction to date in Western Australia.

?The council approval is symbolic of a strong council with a change in philosophy that is able to make decisions for the future growth of their community and safeguard local residents concerns,? Nizich said.

?It has been a long and frustrating process but rewarding in conclusion.?

However, local resident John Guy said that when he bought his home, the Mandurah City Council told him that the quarry would cease operating in a year.

In an interview with the local Mandurah Coastal Times, Guy expressed concern that the fencing surrounding the quarry was not secure, and that motorbike riders and ?hoons? entered the property on weekends.

?The site is secure and fences are adequate. Trespass is not within our control and it is not condoned,? Nizich said.

Sources: Mandurah Coastal Times, NLG Sands

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