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The JRPP’s approval means Dreamland Quarry’s expected working life should now exceed 25 years.
The JRPP’s approval means Dreamland Quarry’s expected working life should now exceed 25 years.

‘Dream’ outcome for granite quarry expansion

A joint regional planning panel has approved a quarry operation’s application to expand its extractive volume, products and boundaries, subject to conditions.

The Western division of the New South Wales Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) granted approval on 2 September, 2014 for Alchemy Pastoral Projects, trading as Terra Farma, to expand its Dreamland Quarry site, located 11km southwest of Bathurst, along the Mid-Western Highway.

The application, supported by an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared by consultancy RW Corkey & Co and submitted to the Bathurst Regional Council, sought to expand the extraction of weathered granite, gravel and sand at the 17ha quarry site, along with screening and washing the extracted granite to produce sub-base products, including decorative granite, course sand and other specialist sand and soil products.

In addition, Terra Farma has commenced and will continue to progressively backfill and rehabilitate the slopes to the north of the processing and stockpile areas to provide for future agricultural activities.

Based on the proposed rate of production and estimated quarry resource, the JRPP’s approval means Dreamland Quarry’s expected working life should now exceed 25 years. In the development application, Dreamland Quarry sought to extract up to a maximum 100,000 tonnes of sand, gravel and granite per annum, although production will fluctuate with demand. In recent years, the quarry has had an output of 25,000 tonnes per year.

Amended consent conditions
There were five government agency and 12 public submissions received by the Bathurst Regional Council after the public exhibition of the EIS supporting the application. Of the 12 public submissions, 11 objected to Terra Farma’s quarry extension while one provided support subject to the enforcement of safeguards and controls. The five government agency submissions supported the extension, subject to various conditions and commitments.

The Bathurst Regional Council issued 39 amended conditions on 1 September. Following a site inspection and hearing of the JRPP on 2 September, two of these conditions were modified and an extra condition added to the approval. The new and modified conditions require the preparation of a noise management plan, that annual reports be provided to adjoining property owners and reduced operating hours.

While weekday operations will remain the same – 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday – Saturday operations have been limited to the hours of 8am to 4pm and operations cannot be conducted on Sundays or public holidays.

Alex Irwin, the senior environmental consultant for RW Corkery & Co who prepared the EIS on behalf of Terra Farma, stated that the company was very pleased with the outcome of the approval and not fazed by the additional consent conditions imposed by the council and JRPP.

“Although the conditions of consent impose restrictions on the area available for active extraction (1.5ha), and processing and stockpiling (1.1ha) at any one time, Terra Farma is confident that these should not prevent the quarry from reaching its development and production targets,” Irwin said.

“In fact, these conditions simply formalise the objectives Terra Farma documented in the EIS to operate the quarry in accordance with progressively developed extraction and rehabilitation plans,” he added.  “These plans will ensure that the quarry is progressively rehabilitated and the visual impact on surrounding lands minimised.  Terra Farma was very happy with the inclusive and open approach of Bathurst Regional Council through the EIS review process and the development of consent conditions.”

Before Terra Farma can commence the expansion of Dreamland Quarry, Irwin explained that the conditions imposed by the development consent require the preparation of a rehabilitation plan, survey of the extraction area and demarcation of several environmental features within three months of the issue of development consent. 

“Terra Farma plans to complete these requirements and commence with the quarry extension within three months, coinciding with a further conditional requirement to surrender the current development consent,” Irwin said.

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Thursday, 17 October, 2019 2:09pm
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