Council has asked Boral to reassess aspects of the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) that it submitted to the Queensland Co-ordinator-General in the second calendar half of 2012.
According to Boral, the Reedy Creek site is the last hard rock resource on the southern Gold Coast and it is critical to supply the area with raw materials for the next 40 plus years, particularly after the nearby West Burleigh Quarry closes within the next six to nine years.
The council engaged external consultants to review the EIS detailing the quarry proposal, which has upset hundreds of local residents, and believes it needs some amendments. It now wants Boral to submit a Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement, or to have conditions included in any project approval, to address specific issues raised by the council?s external consultants in the council submission to the State Government on the quarry.
A Boral spokesperson told Quarry that the public advertising period for the Environmental Impact Statement closed at 5pm on Tuesday, 11 June, 2013. The submissions received are to be assessed by the Queensland Co-ordinator-General, who will make a determination on the project.
Once the Co-ordinator-General has considered submissions on the EIS, a determination will be made to either recommend the Gold Coast City Council approve or refuse the project, or approve it with conditions.
If the project is recommended for approval, Boral will then lodge a development application with the Gold Coast City Council, which will assess the application and proceed to a decision.
At this stage, no decision has been made on the need for a supplementary EIS and any consideration of a supplementary EIS is many weeks further down the assessment process, according to Boral.
Areas of ?significant concern?
Council consultants said there were three areas of ”significant concern” that needed attention, due to conflicts with the council’s town planning scheme, environmental impacts, and traffic and access issues.
Buckley Vann Town Planning Consultants, which provided the independent review to the council, said the concerns highlighted the potential need to redesign some components of the quarry.
Boral?s EIS document and technical reports were prepared by 18 independent consultants. ?Their detailed and extensive reports responded to the Terms of Reference established by the Queensland Co-ordinator-General, which were revised after feedback from the public on an earlier draft,? the Boral spokesperson explained. ?The EIS and technical reports answered the questions asked by the Government and the public.?
Greg Vann, director of Buckley Vann, said the review found problems with the EIS. ”More technical work needs to be done before we can properly understand the implications in these areas,” Vann said. ”There are a number of shortcomings in the assessment they’ve done.”
Vann said a road safety audit should be conducted to find suitable alternatives to access the site because of the poor condition and traffic accident history of Old Coach Rd.
?The traffic report which formed part of the EIS covers off on all aspects of the proposed transport routes, including road safety,? the spokesperson for Boral told Quarry.
Boral said the quarry, if approved, would protect about 150 hectares in a conservation zone. Proportionally, this is significantly more than is protected in neighbouring residential communities. The proposed quarry will occupy only about 66ha – or 30 per cent – of the 216ha site.
Sources: Boral Construction Materials, Gold Coast News