The Northern Regional Planning Panel has notified residents and stakeholders of a determination meeting about the controversial Bentley Quarry on Bentley Rd, to be held next Wednesday.
A contingent of Bentley farmers are opposed to the construction of Bentley Quarry and plan to see it stopped, their list of objections is long and includes: road and safety issues, especially along Lismore to Kyogle Road; a greatly increased risk of serious road accidents for all vehicles from increased truck movements – 140 truck and dog-trailer movements per day which equates to a truck every four minutes; continuous and severe damage to road surfaces in the local road network; dust impacts from crushing and blasting; irreparable loss of amenity due to the industrialization of the Bentley Valley, and noise issues.
The farmers also object to what they see as irreparable visual pollution and loss of social and community amenity; ongoing early morning impact; ongoing negative impacts on mental health owing to anxiety and stress – a loss of feeling of ‘well-being’.
The farmers also have concerns that the quarry is In direct conflict with the already approved DA local development i.e. known as the Blue Fattoria project, a property that is already a successful farm stay, agri-tourism, ‘paddock to plate’ venture, agri-workshops.
The list goes on.
The quarry owners say they are listening to the farmers and that the impacts will be fully managed.
Would Lismore Council be a voice to the panel?
Though the quarry is situated in the Richmond Valley Shire, the location sits on the border of the Lismore LGA and the roads used by the trucks from the site would certainly be using Lismore roads.
At Tuesday’s Council meeting, Cr Adam Guise said he wanted to move an urgency motion because of the upcoming Regional Planning panel meeting.
The motion was that Council nominates the General Manager or his delegate to speak to the public hearing for the Bentley Quarry development proposal in support of Council’s February 2022 resolution seeking payment of levies for heavy vehicle impacts on Lismore roads.
‘The Bentley quarry development sits very close to the border of Richmond Valley council and Lismore, and this quarry, believe it or not, is opposite the historic site where 1,000s of people across the region camped and protested against coal seam gas being imposed on our region. And lo and behold, there’s a proposal to put a giant mega quarry there. This is much to the disappointment of the residents in that valley who’s so valiantly protected their farmland and water from coal seam gas mining, and now it seems like a quarry will be inflicted upon them.’
Impacts on Lismore City council roads
Cr Adam Guise spoke about the road impacts that the quarry would inflict upon Lismore City council roads. ‘This giant quarry intends to have 140 truck movements per day, 140 dog and trailer trucks driving Richmond Valley Council roads and our roads and we estimated it was somewhere in the vicinity of 60 per cent of truck movements that would actually use Lismore City Council road. When we wrote to Richmond Valley Council, they said they were not going to enter into a service level agreement to give us any recompense whatsoever for having this giant mega quarry on our doorstep and destroying our roads further than they already are.’
Cr Guise asked that Council looks after ratepayers and roads and honour the resolution that we previously made at the start of the year to recoup some of those costs that will be inflicted upon Lismore roads if this quarry were to be approved.
Cr Guise’s motion was defeated 5:4.
The Northern Regional Planning Panel’s online meeting will be held next Wednesday, August 24 at 4pm. If you have any enquiries or wish to address the panel or listen to this meeting, you must register by contacting the Planning Panels Secretariat before 4pm Monday, 22 August 2022 on 02 8217 2060 or via email to [email protected]
The panel reference number is PPSNTH‐141 and the Panel’s documentation about the quarry can be found here.