Quarry headed for court
The owners of Champions Quarry have lodged an appeal with the Land and Environment Court against Lismore City Council’s decision to refuse their application to expand the quarry.
Last February Council voted 7/4 to oppose the DA, which was seeking to expand the quarry’s output from 29,000 cubic metres per annum to 200,000 tonnes.
Jeff Champion, a former Lismore mayor and one of the quarry’s owners, suggested at the time that the matter could be headed for the Land and Environment Court.
“This is not the end of the development application process, merely a delay,” he said at the time.
In fact, as well as initiating court proceedings against the Council, he has applied to the NSW Department of Planning to have the quarry expansion assessed as a “major project”.
He did not wish to make any comment to The Echo this week, but in a statement last year he said the sand and sandstone available at the quarry was “a vital regional resource, not available elsewhere in Lismore City Council area... I believe it is regrettable that some of the Lismore City councillors will now spend a considerable amount of ratepayers’ money defending their decision, whilst currently proceeding to expand their own Blakebrook basalt quarry from 200,000 tonnes per annum to 600,000 tonnes per annum.”
Donna Griffiths, a spokesperson for the community group Tucki Community Against Mega Quarry, said she was still waiting to find out on what grounds Mr Champion was appealing, but was not surprised by the action.
“The quarry never should have been allowed, and should not be allowed. The Council gave 11 reasons why they refused the DA and every one of them was relevant. The new Council body saw this was something that was not right in the first place and listened to the community. Although the staff put forward a pro-quarry proposal, the councillors listened to the community and made a good decision.”
Ms Griffiths said their objections were not just about protecting the rural ambience that had attracted them to Tucki Tucki in the first place, but also the wetlands, wildlife and heritage values of the area.