14.1 C
Byron Shire
June 24, 2024

Quarry developer accused of threatening to bury endangered frogs

Latest News

Curtains up on Byron High’s debut musical

After many months of hard work and rehearsing, Byron Bay High School students and staff  are about to perform...

Other News

Teething problem

I think it’s really stupid and potentially dangerous that the concept of an absorption period of charging a lead...

Butterfly and bee highways created by local schools

Northern Rivers students have created a ‘B&B Highway’ for bees, birds, and butterflies to support threatened pollinators in the region.

Byron Council candidates jostle for position

It was the type of motion that comes up at Byron Council quite regularly – a broad, uncontroversial political statement that is unlikely to make a difference in the grand scheme of things. 

Wiggle it for the solstice

A full moon ‘Winter Wiggle’ is on Saturday as the solstice tribe connect. They will be rocking Durrumbul Hall from 6pm till midnight with local legendary DJs: Pob, Halo, Ria Listic and 4 Eyes; plus special guests Daddy Issues  – making a road trip from the Central Coast; and Avaxa – will be slipping in a wiggle in her world festival schedule, flying up from Melbourne.

Bruns, the fishing town, becomes a musical!  

‘All the old salts have moved on… All the old salts have moved on… I’m wondering where they’ve gone…’

Yogaing out

Sadly, two of Byron’s best yoga studios close this month. Bamboo Yoga has been providing a beautiful space and...

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.

2 COMMENTS

  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 .

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Wallum developer welcomes arrests

The developer behind the beleaguered Wallum urban subdivision on rare and sensitive land in Brunswick Heads welcomed the recent arrests of protectors who have blockaded the site over the last four months.

Fresh police appeal for witnesses in Gage Wilson case

Police have issued a fresh public appeal for witnesses in the case of missing Mullumbimby man Gage Wilson.

Ballina MP mostly welcomes state budget announcements

Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith has welcomed some of Labor’s funding announcements in last week’s state budget, including a new Fire and Rescue station for Byron Bay and more firies.

Daniel Mookhey walks the line with NSW budget

NSW Treasurer Daniel Mookhey's second budget in nine months, unveiled last week, was a classic Labor document in its support for education and health, somewhat brave in its slugging of property investors, and disingenuous in its blaming of the GST carve-up for the financial woes of NSW going forward.