17.8 C
Byron Shire
April 16, 2021

Lismore defers quarry blasting decision amid koala concerns

Latest News

Tweed council adopts Jack Evans Boat Harbour plan

The Tweed Shire Council has announced that they have adopted the Plan of Management for the Jack Evans Boat Harbour precinct.

Other News

SCU named as partner in two national drought hubs

Southern Cross University has been announced as playing a crucial partnership role in two new Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs.

Bayside, The Corso

Annie Radermacher, Brunswick Heads A clear description of the proposed development as presented to the public was of 37 boarding...

Byron and Ballina secure funds from Coastal and Estuary Grants

A coastal hazard assessment study and a coastal management program will be funded as the NSW Government announces over $100,000 for Byron and Ballina Shire Councils under the 2020-21 Coastal and Estuary Grants Program.

Interview with Jean Kittson

Comedian, writer, and social commentator Jean Kittson has the ability to distil complex ideas into commonsense. Jean is one of the national treasures in conversation with Mandy Nolan and Fiona O’Loughlin at No Eggs for Breakfast, a comedic chat themed around life beyond fertility! It seemed remiss not to ask Ms Kittson on her take on the debacle that is federal politics and gender equity.

DPI has an eye on Lismore’s yellow crazy ants

The yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes) is a species of ant, originally from Southeast Asia, that has been accidentally introduced to numerous places in the world – including Lismore.

Red Cross offers additional bushfire grants

Australian Red Cross is opening a final round of support grants for people affected by the bushfires who are suffering extreme financial hardship.

One of the koalas spotted at a quarry at Ruthven during an inspection this week.
One of the koalas spotted at a quarry at Ruthven during an inspection this week.

Darren Coyne

The Lismore City Council last night deferred making a decision on whether blasting could go ahead at a quarry heavily populated by koalas.

Councillors were set to make a decision at last night’s meeting, with staff recommending that the application be refused.

Operators of McDonalds Quarry at Flood Reserve Road, Ruthven, had lodged an application to vary the quarry’s consent conditions to allow up to five blasts each year.

The quarry was first approved in the early 1990s for the production of 6000 cubic metres per annum.

That rate was increased to 14,700 cubic metres in 1996, given the quarry an expected life of 73 years.

But the applicants have told the council they encountered hard rock at much shallower levels than expected, and that blasting would help break up that rock for processing.

They want approval to carry out up to five blasts a year, but council staff recommended against issuing the approval because the applicants had been unable to provide information on the potential impacts of koalas.

But last minute information lodged by the applicants prompted councillors last night to support a motion from Cr Mathew Schebel to defer the decision until a workshop was held to consider the new material.

The council’s development and compliance manager Peter Jeuken emailed councillors just prior to the meeting saying the applicants had advised that a revised “Assessment of Impacts of Quarry Blasting on Koalas” had been prepared by JWA Pty Ltd dated 13 July 2015.

Mr Jeuken said that while the applicants were still to provide information on a number of areas of concern, the revised report formed ‘a clear conclusion that the proposal will not result in any significant impacts upon koalas’ if recommendations were followed.

An added recommendation would be: ‘Post blast koala monitoring should be reported in an annual report to council and OEH (Office of Environment and Heritage) after the first 12 months of blasting.

‘Data collected during the monitoring survey should include age class, reproductive status, health status, tree species sighted in, and location by GPS. ‘There should be an interpretation of results and a report should be completed by a suitably qualified and experienced ecologist.’

Mr Jeuken said it was unlikely further studies would provide any evidence not before councillors, and he said ‘A decision to defer the application and request further information is unlikely to be of any material benefit given discussions with the applicant’.

Nevertheless, after protracted debate, councillors did vote to defer their decision so that the information provided in the enhanced report from JWA Pty Ltd could be considered.

The workshop is expected to be held ‘as soon as possible’, and a report will go back to the council before any further decisions are made.

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

  1. Council staff seem to be on the ball enough to recommend refusal.
    The GWA report saying ‘no significant impact’ is typical. Where is the precautionary approach to protect these threatened species? To go ahead and blast then monitor the impacts is too late for the koalas impacted. Why do always koalas come last when it comes to profits for humans?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Report and recommendations – First Nations people in custody

High, but not high enough, on the country's human rights agenda is the issue of Aboriginal deaths in custody.

Eungella: Alleged domestic-related stabbing suspect charged with attempted murder

Police say a man will face court today charged with attempted murder following an alleged domestic-related stabbing earlier this year.

Remembering and Healing – the Northern Rivers peace effort

The community of Lismore are invited to join events organised by the Remembering and Healing (RaH) group over the weekend encompassing ANZAC Day.

The ghost in the archives #3: Sexism, legal discrimination and ‘the game of bastadry’

The ghost in the archives #3 – In which a former Echo drudge dives into the crypt and comes up covered in dusty memories.