Lismore City Council is looking at ways to improve returns and reduce risk in its Northern Rivers Quarry & Asphalt business and is calling for expressions of interest as to how its operations could improve.
The multi-million dollar Blakebrook Quarry is owned and operated by the council with an annual turnover of around $12 million and a licence to extract 600,000 tonnes of aggregate per annum until 2039.
While the quarry is profitable, council says it is concerned about its ‘sustainability in the long term’ and is looking to the business sector to see whether the business can be improved, leased or sold.
Last year the council faced a $300,000 clean-up bill after it admitted supplied substandard asphalt from the quarry to neighbouring Richmond Valley Council.
Lismore now admits the old plant is no longer viable and is currently leasing an asphalt plant until August to maintain supplies.
Commercial Services Manager Phil Klepzig said that proposals ‘could range from the purchase of more efficient machinery right through to sale of the business.’
‘Basically we are asking people to come to us with ideas and we will put all options on the table. This is part of a greater push for Lismore City Council to become financially sustainable.
‘We need to look at all our operations and see where we can save money and improve efficiency. This expression of interest process is essentially a fishing exercise to see what interest is out there and what ideas people can come up with.’
Mr Klepzig said now was the time to investigate alternative options for quarry operation, before Council committed to any large capital expenditure for a new asphalt plant.
Expressions of Interest for Blakebrook Quarry close at 2pm on Wednesday, 2 March.
For more details go to www.tenderlink.com/lismore.