‘MP to raise quarry issue with Seeney’ – Bayside Bulletin, 15 October

Redland City Council has rejected comments reported in today’s Bayside Bulletin regarding its Barro quarry decision.

Mayor Karen Williams said Council would have welcomed a right of reply to the article which makes a number of wrong assertions about Council’s position.

“Despite assertions that Council rejected the proposal to ‘avoid the political heat’; Council has clearly rejected the quarry proposal based on assessment of the impacts.

“We have acknowledged it is not an easy matter with competing views, but certainly Council has encouraged a decision made on its merits – as opposed to a political vote winning decision,” Cr Williams said.

‘‘The merits of the Council decision is evidenced by the Minister calling in the decision and acknowledging the State interest and competing Regulatory State controls for protecting the State resources and preserving the environment.

“In view of the clear rejection of the proposal by Council, there is little relevance in the reported comment that ‘the conditions in the council officer recommendation to grant the extension were odd, very light weight and very ordinary.’

“The proposed conditions put forward by Council officers were limited to matters under Council’s jurisdiction, which principally adopted the State referral agencies conditions as the regulatory authority for environmental impacts; environmental authorities (ERA 8, 16 & 21) and the State controlled road.

Council has made its unconditional concerns known through its formal decision and in separate correspondence to the Deputy Premier.

“The grounds for rejection included planning scheme conflicts, conflicts with existing residential and commercial activities and environmental concerns such as noise impacts.

“The concerns raised by Council reflected those raised in over 1,200 properly made submissions and the relative significance of the proposed Quarry.

“This is not reflected in the paper’s article.

“The proposed quarry as a State regulated resource, would be over four times the size of the Cleveland showgrounds constructed within approximately 150 metres of residential properties, involving up to 280 truck movements per day and operating 6 days per week between at least 6:30am to 6pm Monday to Saturday.

“The specific concerns raised by Council included the following:

  • The proposed extension is actually a new quarry, extracting new material from a different location on the site, with a significantly greater scale than the existing quarry.
  • The proposed development is not consistent with the reasonable expectations of the local community, because the proposal is for a completely separate quarry which is of a significant scale and will operate in close proximity to adjoining rural residential properties.
  •  The applicant has failed to demonstrate that the new quarry can be constructed and operated in such a manner as to protect the amenity of the surrounding sensitive receptors.
  • The applicant has failed to adequately define and apply suitable noise criteria to assess protection of amenity for the surrounding sensitive receptors.
  • The proposal will not maintain or enhance the rural residential amenity of the surrounding area through the minimisation of environmental nuisance occurring through the operation and construction of the quarry.
  • The proposal adversely impacts on and limits the future enhancement of the surrounding economic tourism opportunities.
  • A large number of submissions have been received objecting to the proposal, which raise valid planning grounds.
  • The proposed development is in conflict with the following provisions of the Redlands Planning Scheme:
    • Part 3.1.4, Desired Environmental Outcome No. 3 – Community Health and Wellbeing;
    • Part 3.1.7, Desired Environmental Outcome No. 6 – Economic Development;
    • Overall Outcomes 2(a)(i) and 2(c) for the Rural Non-Urban Zone;
    • Overall Outcome 2(a)(iv) for the Extractive Industry Code; and
    • Specific Outcomes S2.1 to S2.4 of the Extractive Industry Code.
  • There are not sufficient grounds to warrant approval of the proposed development having regarding to the nature and extent of the conflict with the Redlands Planning Scheme.

“The article also quotes comment that the proposed Council infrastructure charges on Barro ‘were only $400,000 to maintain the roads’.

“In fact, Council did not require a contribution of $400,000 to maintain the roads. This contribution was regulated and imposed by the State Department of Transport and Main Roads.

“The article further quotes comments that the rejected Council officer report failed to mention conditions to contain fire ants to the area and glossed over air quality reports.

“This is incorrect. Fire ant provisions were part of the Council report of June 5, 2013.

“While noise and air quality regulation is a matter for the State Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, noise impacts were specifically mentioned in Council’s resolution rejecting the Barro application.”