A group opposed to a sand mine at Lennox Head has welcomed a decision by the Ballina Shire Council to investigate allegations that the mine is 80 per cent over its extraction limit.
Following a motion by Cr Jeff Johnson, the council’s compliance officers will report back on what actions are available to address the over-extraction, the impact of stockpiling material at the site, and what environmental impacts over-extraction might have on the surrounding environment.
Amelia Hicks, a Ross Lane resident and member of the No Sand Mines for Lennox group, said that while the decision was welcomed, the group still questioned why it had taken the council seven months to act.
‘In the meantime Ballina Sands are able to continue the extraction and stockpiling of material despite the fact that the mine has clearly exceeded their extraction limits and this is also a deep concern to No Sand Mines for Lennox,’ she said.
After 7 months of waiting for action, the group is also calling on the Mayor David Wright and General Manager Paul Hickey to have these instructions carried out urgently and avoid further delays.
‘We’re all concerned about the health of our coastal floodplain and we know that there is the possibility of another sand mine almost three times the size in the same area,’ she said.
‘We need to know that the council will do its job. I’m really happy with today’s outcome, although I’ll certainly be watching closely to see what happens next.’
Ms Hicks said she was thrilled to see Cr Johnson stand with the community on the issue.
‘We’ve had increased truck noise and pollution as well as safety concerns on Ross Lane and it’s been frustrating waiting for so many months with no answers or action, despite constant questioning of the council,’ she said.