Lismore Council votes to block quarry expansion
COMMUNITY action has carried the day, with the Lismore City Council surprising many when it rejected the controversial extension of Champions Quarry at Tucki Tucki on Tuesday night.
Despite concerns refusing the application could result in costly legal action, councillors voted the proposal down seven to four.
Tucki Community Against Mega Quarry chairwoman Donna Griffiths claimed it as a victory of community action.
“Councillors have listened to the people and realised the peoples’ concerns were legitimate and I commend the councillors for standing on the principle of their guidelines,” she said.
Council staff had recommended the project get approval, arguing the application met all the criteria under guidelines set by the Department of Environment and Climate Change.
The extension would have seen extractions from the quarry jump to 200,000 tonnes, even though it isn’t extracting the full amount under its existing development approval.
Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell said councillors were aware of the legal implications, however they voted, but in the end the proposal did not meet council guidelines.
“Our major concern was that it does not comply with our own development control plan, particularly the buffers between the quarry and the houses,” she said.
“The existing quarry does not comply anyway and an expansion of the quarry would be a bridge too far.”
Jeff Champion, who owns the quarry, yesterday said his company would appeal the decision in the Land and Environment Court.
“I believe it was a wrong decision by councillors,” he said.
“Wrong on planning, environmental, economic and employment grounds.”
“This is not the end of the development application process, merely a delay.
“It is regrettable some of the Lismore City Councillors will now spend considerable amount of ratepayers’ money defending their decision.”