Champions Quarry site inspected
NSW LAND and Environment Court Commissioner Ted Moore yesterday braved the wet conditions to conduct a site inspection of Champions Quarry at Tucki Tucki as part of its appeal against a decision by Lismore City Council.
Stumbling through the mud and rain with lawyers and experts in tow, the gumboot-wearing commissioner remarked, ‘this is the show in kindergarten's show and tell'.
He inspected a number of bunds and ‘clay mounds' which quarry owner Jeff Champion said were built to comply with council's order to minimise sound and visual impacts on adjoining properties, but which the council argues are ineffective and unauthorised.
Mr Moore is this week hearing theappeal lodged with the court after the council refused to approve the earth mounds constructed more than 12 months ago.
Back in the warm confines of the Ballina Courthouse lawyer Sandra Duncan, representing the Lismore City Council, said the central issue was the quarry built the wrong type of bunds in the wrong location, and therefore did not conform to council's approval.
“None of the work that has been carried could be said to comply,” she said, adding one bund constructed near a neighbour's fence line affected their amenity by blocking part of the view.
She said the bunds should be up to another two metres high to prevent the sound of the quarry's operations disturbing residents.
At its monthly meeting in April the council refused to retrospectively approve the works at the Wyrallah Road quarry, leading to the appeal.
Councillors also voted at that meeting to write to State Planning Minister Tony Kelly, calling on him not to classify the proposed extension of the quarry as a major project.
Since the council's rejection of the proposed extension in February, which would see extractions jump to 200,000 tonnes, it has been fighting on a number of fronts to uphold its decision.
The two parties were ordered intomediation by the Land and Environment Court in April over a dispute concerning the upgrade of Wyrallah Road.
The current case is set down to finish tomorrow.