Quarry to be turned back into bushland in 'landmark outcome'
OWNERS of Broken Head Quarry have agreed to convert their exhausted site into bushland by mid-2019 in a landmark outcome for the State Government.
The action marks a significant milestone for the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
The department's executive director of resources assessment and compliance, Dr Oliver Holm, said it was the first Enforceable Undertaking issued since the enactment of new provisions earlier this year.
Leadshine Pty Limited, which has owned the quarry near Byron Bay since 2003, has agreed to rehabilitate and revegetate the land.
Dr Holm said the decision was a win for local people who have been concerned about the environmental condition of the quarry and its future for many years.
"The old quarry site will now be brought back to match the surrounding vegetation to protect threatened species as well as restore an important wildlife corridor,” he said.
"This will allow threatened fauna known to exist in the adjacent community, to once again forage and potentially, sometime in the future, populate this area.
"This includes endangered species such as the koala, the Eastern long-eared bat and potentially, the long-nosed potaroo, with the last confirmed sighting of this small marsupial in the region in 1993.”
Dr Holm said Enforceable Undertakings were written, legally binding agreements that can save the significant costs of legal action and bring about the swift, clear and measurable results for the community.
"Our compliance team will continue to monitor the quarry to ensure the rehabilitation is carried out by mid-2019,” he said.
"Planting of new trees and vegetation as well as landscaping has already commenced and the community will see a real change.
"This is good news for the Byron Bay region, with such a positive environmental outcome secured through a clear and enforceable mechanism.”