Boral clear to start review early
BORAL has gained approval from Ballina Shire Council to bring forward a mandatory review process of its quarry on North Teven Rd.
Under the original consent, the earliest the review could be done was between June 2015 and June 2016.
But Boral said that timeframe left "very little ability for Boral to make decisions about the long-term future of the operation before the current consent end date".
The approval given by council yesterday will allow the review to start immediately.
The company has made no secret about its future plans for the quarry, which mainly produces concrete and asphalt aggregates.
At the council meeting yesterday, Boral's environment manager, Rod Johnston, said it could "continue to operate successfully for many more years".
"It has another 20 years of resources," he said. "There is also plenty of demand in the greater Ballina-Byron area."
Mr Johnston said Boral admitted that it had, in the past, "taken our eye off the ball on some matters (of compliance)".
But he said the company was keen to work with the council, residents, stakeholders and the wider community to make things right.
Fiona Folan, speaking on behalf of the Ballina Environment Society, said there were still issues that needed to be dealt with.
"There is still the issue of the progress of the environmental management plan, which is happening, but in spurts," she said.
"We would also like to see some creek monitoring so that we have some baseline data."
Cr Jeff Johnson agreed, saying all compliance issues should be worked out before Boral started its review of the quarry.
But Cr Keith Johnson said the company should be able to start.
"You might not like quarries, but you like roads and we have to look at how we can enable quarries to operate effectively," he said.
"Concerns can be dealt with."