Load & Haul

Sand operator denied fill request

Rindean Quarry is a 15.76-hectare sand quarry located in Somersby, New South Wales.

In late 2016, the quarry’s operator, Down to Earth Geotechnical and Environmental (D2EGE), requested permission to import 240,000 tonnes of excavated natural material (ENM) to build acoustic bunds, rehabilitate former tailings ponds and construct a road and wheel wash facility over the course of four weeks under a “Section 96” request.

{{image2-a:r-w:250}}Under Section 96 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, NSW quarry operators can seek approval for works such as expanding a quarry by two hectares or increasing truck traffic, production and hours of operation without the need for a new development application (DA).

In this case, Rindean Quarry operators were not required to submit air quality, noise or traffic management plans to accompany the request.

The Southern Region Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) refused the request in September this year.

The Central Coast Council stated its reasons for refusal were a lack of details on the material that would be imported, the associated traffic movements and potential environmental impacts.

Prior operating requests

Previously operating from 1979 to 2003, Rindean Quarry’s operators sought to re-open the quarry in 2012.

A development application (DA) was subsequently lodged with the Central Coast Council that requested to “reopen and to operate in the manner and within the footprint approved by the council in deferred development consents … to produce up to 150,000 tonnes per annum of washed and unwashed construction sand for Sydney and local markets.”

The Central Coast Council and the JRPP denied the DA; however, the decision was appealed and later approved by the NSW Land and Environment Court in 2014.

The quarry’s operators were granted approval to remove up to 150,000 tonnes of sand per annum over a period of 20 years.

In late 2015, Rindean Quarries requested an amendment to its truck movements/loading and unloading operations. This was granted in early 2016.

Quarry contacted D2EGE’s spokesperson to seek a brief comment about the decision and whether or not it the company plans to pursue the matter further. A response was not forthcoming at time of publication.

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