Residents oppose proposed Peats Ridge quarry

Peats Ridge residents and the Mountain Districts Association have called on Gosford Council to oppose the latest proposed quarry in Euloo Rd, Peats Ridge.

“Yet again, Gosford’s outlying rural areas are being targeted by another extractive industry quarry proposal, currently before Gosford Council,” said Mountain Districts Association spokesperson, Dr Stephen Goodwin. “Local Peats Ridge residents and the Mountain Districts community at large are strongly opposed to this latest proposal to dig up valuable water bearing sandstone. “Equally concerning is that it confl icts    with every one of the planning objectives under Gosford Local Environment Plan 2014 for this rurally zoned area and should not be permitted. “The developer submitted a substandard application. “It was based on the terms of an earlier quarry proposal for the same site 18 years ago, using the same environmental impact statement. “A number of signifi cant legislative and regulatory changes relating to planning decisions, along with increased community awareness about such issues, have occurred in that time. “The lack of effort put into supporting documents with the development application on the key issues required under the Act made a mockery of these requirements. “For example, peak traffi c volumes were calculated on the basis of a survey conducted between 8:00am and 9:00am on Christmas Day, 2014. “A total of six vehicles were recorded. “That would be Santa’s sleigh and his support crew. “How ludicrous to conduct the survey then, but it set the tone for the rest of the submission,” Dr Goodwin said. According to Dr Goodwin, fi gures provided in the proposal estimated that approximately 540 loads would be carried from the proposed quarry per week or one truck every six minutes on Euloo Rd. He said Euloo Rd was “a narrow, sealed strip, barely capable of providing safe two-way conveyance for existing property owners and their families. “Approving this application will create a highly dangerous situation for local road users,” he said. Dr Goodwin said the proposal failed to provide any credible assessment of noise levels that could be expected to be generated by traffi c and mining operations. “Vehicular noise alone generated by one truck every six minutes doesn’t bear thinking about,” he said. “The applicant completely ignored the potential for dust in the air due to the quarry operations. “This will have a negative impact on human health in Peats Ridge through increased respiratory complaints and should not be permitted. “With regards to the heritage importance of the site and nearby area, the applicant asserted that ‘…… no items or places of heritage value are reported to be present on the site … there is no evidence of any structures (or) of remnants of structures present within the vicinity of the works area’,” Dr Goodwin said. The Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council said: “There are a number of registered Aboriginal Cultural Heritage sites within the property and within the vicinity of the property. “The area is considered to be very rich in Aboriginal Cultural Heritage and within a signifi cant      Aboriginal cultural landscape.” “It is outrageous that the developer should treat the local area, its Aboriginal heritage and agricultural livelihood with such contempt,” Dr Goodwin said. “Because it is a designated development, the matter will be decided by the Joint Regional Planning Panel, but this shouldn’t stop Gosford Council from recommending that the application be rejected. “A cursory estimation of the proposal suggests that a hole with a surface area of 10 hectares and many metres in depth will be excavated. “The developer claims that the targeted product is clay, but on his own fi gures, this represents a mere 12 per cent of the total material that will be extracted during the proposed life of the quarry. “Clearly, sandstone is the primary target of this operation. “There is a strong primary production industry in the Mountain Districts and landowners will oppose any activity threatening the integrity of water bearing sandstone relied upon by them for domestic, livestock and agricultural uses. “It is also an important source of water for the Central Coast water supply. “Mountain Districts Association is well known for its stance on the protection of ground water reserves in this area and its opposition to extractive proposals that threaten them. “Given the publicity that the current legal battle over Rocla sand quarrying operation in Calga has attracted, and the broad implications of this case on any future new sandstone quarry development applications, it is hard to see why anyone would demonstrate such lack of judgement by proceeding before the Rocla matter was settled,” Dr Goodwin said.

Media release, 10 June 2015 Stephen Goodwin, Mountain Districts Association

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