23 C
Byron Shire
February 4, 2023

Quarry developer accused of threatening to bury endangered frogs

Latest News

Swivel by name, drivel by nature

The lack of authenticity of Byron Councillor, Mark Swivel, does not come as a surprise from this side of...

Other News

Abouchar honoured with Order of Australia

The new head of the Byron Community College (BCC), Chantal Abouchar, has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her contributions to business and the media.

Lismore trial of recycled crushed glass in concrete

A trial to use recycled crushed glass in concrete as a replacement for sand will be taking place in Lismore at the Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre.

Cheeky Cabaret returns!

Following the Cheeky season is some incredible live music, including Ella Hooper: Small Town Temple tour, Libby O’Donovan – cabaret singer extraordinaire, Stella Donnelly: Flood Australian tour, Liz Stringer and William Crighton co-headlining in a powerhouse performance, and the house is thrilled to announce the fabulous Tim Rogers & The Twin Set coming in April.

Kura and Sou: two authentic Japanese Byron restaurants

Simon Haslam Kura is an authentic Japanese restaurant serving yakitori, sushi and ramen, located in the heart of Byron Bay....

Witches in the Starcourt

A new year is here! It’s a time for women all over the region to pick up their brooms and set their witchy intentions for 2023. There is no finer time and place to do it than with your Country Witches, comedian Mandy Nolan and singer/songwriter Áine Tyrrell. 

Big fleet chases class championship

Twenty-one boats took to the water to compete in one long race that made up the fourth instalment of...

A No Sand Mines for Lennox protest at the McGrearys site. Photo supplied

A group opposing the further development of sand mines in Lennox Head is accusing the developer of one of the mines of threatening to make extinct a colony of endangered frogs if its application to substantially expand its mine is not approved.

McGrearys Quarries has a development application before Ballina Shire Council that would see up to 1.9 million tonnes of sand excavated over a 30-year period.

The environmental impact statement (EIS) for the McGearys Quarry proposal states that, if the new quarry is not approved, rehabilitation works under the existing rehabilitation plan or plan of management approved in 1995 will be completed but result in the extinction of threatened frog species and loss of high conservation value vegetation.

Under the terms of the rehab plan, the applicant would be required to fill the existing pond at the quarry, where the endangered frogs have taken up residence ‘back to farm land’, according to the applicant’s planner Steve Connelly of Planners North, effectively making the frogs homeless.

Mr Connelly told Echonetdaily it was ‘really very perverse for objectors to the McGearys Quarry proposal to say that the EIS “threatens to make two frogs extinct if their new sand mine is refused”.’

‘The EIS is a document that sets out facts,’ he said.

‘Fact 1: We have found threatened frog species on the site. They live in the shallows near excavations.

‘Fact 2: The current DA approval requires rehabilitation of the site back to farm land.

‘Fact 3. With an expanded quarry, the extent of shallows will increase and we anticipate that the threatened frog species population will increase

‘There is no threat, real or implicit, in any of the EIS facts,’ Mr Connelly said.

Clearly a threat

But No Sand Mine for Lennox spokesperson Amelia Hicks says the claim contained within the EIS ‘is very clearly a threat’ and in the way it is written it certainly appears one is at least implied.

Clause 6.1 on page 66 of the Environmental Impact Statement states, ‘In the event that this application is refused then the prescribed rehabilitation works will be completed. Such works will result in the total loss in biodiversity at the site and cause the local extinction of the vulnerable wallum froglet and the wallum sedge frog as well as significant loss of high conservation value vegetation.’

But Ms Hicks told Echonetdaily she was sure there would be room to move on the rehabilitation plan in the event that the DA was refused.

‘The rehab plan was written 25 years ago. It is not to be slavishly followed if it will cause a local extinction. An application to amend the rehab plan would be welcomed by the council and the community,’ she said.

The site has been mined by McGearys since 1995 but the company’s existing DA has expired.

The new DA is currently on exhibition and open for public comment until January 29.

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. Sounds and feels like Blackmail to me. How about asking the indigenous Elders who are camped on this Land, their own land at Lennox, and do what the Aunties tell you. That will be a step in the Right direction . MatiJo Beams,.

  2. Endangered frogs , every where we look there are endangered frogs on every single development application .
    What about the endangered Bunyips aren’t they endangered enough to warrant protection by these so called protectors of the environment ?
    I have reported environmental eyesore on the Tweed River to the Green Mayor of the Tweed but she is too busy playing same sex marriage politics to be worried about our environment .


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Land values rise

Your cover story on 25 January claims that land valuation rises could herald increases in Council rates. This is potentially misleading. A council’s total...

Go Thistles!

Lismore Thistles Soccer Club has launched the Thistles Acceleration Program, in the process becoming the city’s only player development academy. 

Pothole protest gets immediate results

Psst: want to get Council staff to do something about the appalling state of roads in your neighbourhood? Organise a protest outside Mullum’s Council Chambers! By...

What’s Love Got to Do with It?

Art imitates life in What’s Love Got to Do with It? a 2022 British romantic comedy-drama film directed by Shekhar Kapur, from a screenplay by Jemima Khan.  The precis reads: ‘Set between London and Lahore, a filmmaker documents her childhood friend and neighbour’s arranged marriage to a bride from Pakistan.’