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Champion's Quarry near Lismore is keen to expand its footprint.
Champion's Quarry near Lismore is keen to expand its footprint.

Lismore quarry expansion decision imminent

The New South Wales Department of Planning and Infrastructure has recommended approval of the proposed expansion of Champion's Quarry in Tucki Tucki, near Lismore.
The move follows the rejection of proposals put forward by Lismore City Council and subsequently the NSW Land and Environment Court.

In a written submission, the NSW Planning Department said it was “satisfied that the project's benefits substantially outweigh any residual costs and impacts, and that it is in the public interest”.

The Planning Department argued the quarry would alleviate a deficiency in sand products for the local construction industry and the Pacific Highway upgrade.

It also mentioned that the current project application made substantial changes from those previously rejected by Lismore City Council.

The proposed expansion would take the operation from 60,000 tonnes to 200,000 tonnes per year, and has faced united opposition from Tucki Tucki residents who cite noise and dust pollution as one of several concerns.

A final decision will now be made by the two-person Planning Assessment Commission, which heard views from local stakeholders in a public meeting at Lismore Turf Club.

About 25 of the 33 speakers at the public meeting - mostly Tucki residents - rejected the expansion, citing a list of environmental concerns including noise and water pollution, traffic management, road maintenance and native habitat.

Those speaking in favour of the quarry argued it would provide a boost in the diminishing supply of locally sourced sand products, a key ingredient of RTA-approved road base blends used in road and highway upgrades.

The quarry is a sandstone deposit in a predominantly basalt area so its products are in high demand.

Lismore City councillor Graham Meineke supports the plans and said that local road and housing costs could increase if the quarry is not allowed to expand.

"Roads don't get built, housing material become more expensive," he said. "They just have to drag the quarry material from further and further away and of course that all adds to cost and, need I say it, adds to greenhouse gases and all of that.

"Quarries are issues that certainly are emotional to a lot of people.

"However quarries should be located strategically because of the haulage distances. If you go over say 50 kilometres, then it makes the quarry unviable."

Sources: Northern Star, ABC North Coast NSW

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Thursday, 24 October, 2019 2:33am
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