Concerns over quarry extractions

APPLICATIONS to increase extraction rates at two quarries at Bagotville, near Wardell, will be referred to Ballina Shire Council's solicitors to ensure legal concerns are properly dealt with.

The applications would enable the two quarries to triple their extraction rates of shale and chert.

Instead of 50,000 tonnes a year, each quarry would be able to extract 150,000 tonnes.

Truck movements would average about 160 per day if the applications were approved.

But the Environmental Defender's Office has written to the council questioning whether the applications should be dealt with as amendments to existing applications or as new development applications.

In response, councillors have voted to defer a decision on the matter.

Council's solicitors will now be asked to assess the matters raised by the EDO "to ensure that all aspects are answered".

Approval had been recommended by the council staff.

There are serious concerns from residents in Wardell, particularly in Carlisle Street, about the increase in truck movements and other safety issues.

The council resolved at its last meeting that if the increases to extraction rates are eventually approved, it would implement a mechanism for monetary penalties if there are breaches in the consent conditions for starting times, speed and traffic movements.

Empty quarry trucks would not be able to travel to the quarry along Carlisle Street before 7am.

Issues of vibration will also be looked at.

Council staff will investigate whether a condition could be imposed for all quarry products intended for the Ballina/Woodburn Pacific Highway upgrade to be hauled along the new highway route and not through the Wardell township.

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