Eagleton quarry approval ‘shakes’ local residents
3 mins read

Eagleton quarry approval ‘shakes’ local residents

Residents and environmental groups have expressed “shock” and “concern” over the approval of a new quarry at Eagleton, north of Raymond Terrace.

The NSW Independent Planning Commission (IPC) has given the green light to the project, which will enable the extraction, processing and transportation of up to 600,000 tonnes of hard rock per year for 30 years.

This is despite more than 50 submissions being made to the NSW Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure opposing the proposal.

Most complaints concerned noise, explosions, traffic, air quality and biodiversity.

However, the three-member council, led by chairman Adrian Pilton, decided “approval should be granted” for the Eagleton Rock Syndicate Pty Ltd venture, which will generate about 20 full-time jobs.

“The Commission carefully considered all views – from submissions and comments to those presented at the public hearing – in making its decision,” the IPC said.

“Having considered the wider strategic and economic benefits of accessing the hard rock resource against the impact on the environment and local amenity for residents, we concluded that the project should be approved.

“But it is subject to certain conditions.

“These provisions are designed to: prevent, minimise and/or compensate for negative environmental impacts; set standards and performance metrics to ensure acceptable environmental performance; require regular monitoring and reporting; and ensure ongoing environmental management of the development.”

EcoNetwork-Port Stephens spokesman Nigel Waters strongly criticised the referendum result.

“The decision to approve the project was made despite a lack of transparent consideration of the strategic, social and environmental impacts of the project in the context of the other nine operating or planned hard rock mines within a 25km radius in our rural hinterland,” he said.

“The consequence of this decision will be further deterioration of the natural and social values ​​of Balickery.

“Eagleton Quarry will contribute to the loss of habitat essential to the survival of many threatened species, including our iconic koala.

“It remains to be seen what impact the development of another quarry will have on the Grahamstown catchment area.”

Mr Waters added that the combined traffic impacts caused by multiple quarries made it difficult for residents to safely use and access the Pacific Highway.

“In short, the road infrastructure to handle the huge increase in the number of transport vehicles is not yet ready, yet permits are being issued for quarry operations,” he said.

“We are aware of the demand for construction materials and appeal to the government to plan their supplies accordingly.

“It is not sustainable to destroy the recreational assets and biodiversity of one region to support development elsewhere.

“Earlier this year we wrote to Ministers Penny Sharpe and Paul Scully asking them to urgently address the issues we raised in our Hard Rock Quarry paper but which have so far been ignored.

“If we do not consider the cumulative impacts that the extensive development of hard rock quarries in our region will have, we will inevitably face the destruction of environmental assets that we so value and need.

“We will continue to call on our political representatives to urgently address the bigger picture of hard rock quarry expansion in our region… and work with rural communities to protect our natural and social resources.”

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