Council stands firm against quarry
It’s been lawyers at 50 paces between Lismore City Council and Champions Quarry for the past few months with proponent Jeff Champion taking Council to the Land and Environment Court over their refusal of his quarry expansion DA.
On Tuesday night the battle continued with Council refusing to retrospectively approve the construction of an earth bund at the quarry. They will now commence a process of serving an order so the unauthorised bund is removed.
Mr Champion is fighting the refusal on several fronts, having also applied to the Minister for Planning Tony Kelly to have the quarry expansion declared a ‘major project’ and assessed under Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act. The Department has now placed the Environmental Assessment on public exhibition until April 23.
Lismore Council resolved on Tuesday night to make a submission to the Minister that outlines the 11 reasons they had originally knocked back the DA on, which includes not complying with prescribed buffers, traffic impacts, noise and dust issues, visual impact for those living in the Tucki Tucki community, impacts on flora and fauna and Aboriginal sites, and a number of other issues.
Council will also raise concerns about the way Section 94 contributions have been calculated, saying it falls short by more than $5 million over the 25-year life of the project.
Chairperson of the Tucki Community Against Mega Quarry group Donna Griffiths praised Council for their position. “This was an example of democracy in action. It was a bold action for Council to stand on their conviction and we are extremely proud that this Council is showing their ability to work democratically and that the people’s voice is being heard,” she said. “This is not a light industry, it is a massive extraction operation and its unproven and unpredictable impacts will inevitably destroy the community’s social, environmental and economical amenities; thus we will continue to fight it.”
Donna said if the Minister approves the project it would set a precedent and have huge ramifications for local council planning issues around the state. She urged people to write to the Department of Planning to voice their concerns.