Quarries build stronger Queensland

Published Friday, 20 December, 2013 at 01:00 PM

Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning
The Honourable Jeff Seeney

Hundreds of jobs will be created and the State’s economy boosted, after the green light was given to the development of one new quarry and the extension of an existing quarry in south-east Queensland, under strict conditions.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said a proposed new quarry on the Gold Coast and the expansion of a facility at Mount Cotton in Brisbane’s south-east will support growth in Queensland’s building and construction sector.

“Quarries quite literally supply the building blocks that underpin all critical community infrastructure, including affordable housing for Queenslanders,” Mr Seeney said.

“The Newman Government promised at the election to support the construction pillar of the Queensland economy, reduce costs of living and deliver better infrastructure – today’s decisions deliver on all of those commitments.

“Without quarries we won’t have the raw material to build roads, houses, hospitals, airports and rail lines. 

“On current estimates, south-east Queensland’s existing supplies of quarry material will be significantly depleted by 2020 underlining the need for responsible developments to proceed under strict conditions.

“We acknowledge local community concerns about both of these projects, however if Queenslanders want affordable housing, better roads and essential infrastructure, then we need quarries and we need them nearby.”

Mr Seeney used his call-in powers to approve the Barro Quarry expansion at Mount Cotton, while the Coordinator General today released an evaluation report on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Boral Quarry at Reedy Creek, recommending it proceed under strict conditions.

“Both projects will be subject to rigorous environmental conditions that will protect native species, wildlife habitat, and manage noise, air quality, vibration and dust,” Mr Seeney said.

“The Mount Cotton quarry extension must abide by the South East Queensland Koala Conservation State Planning Regulatory provisions and the Offsets for Net Gain of Koala Habitat in SEQ Policy.

“This will mean over 77,000 trees will be planted at the Mount Cotton site and quarry operators will need to demonstrate that fauna movement will not be affected a result of development.”

Both quarry projects will have stringent conditions imposed including:

  • Limited operational hours
  • Regular air quality monitoring
  • Controls on noise and blasting activities
  • Restrictions on truck and traffic movements
  • Buffer zones of set width between quarrying activities and local residents.

Mr Seeney said the State Government remained committed to empowering councils to take greater control of local planning and leadership was needed when making challenging decisions.

“I urge the City of Gold Coast and the Redland City Council to show political courage and support these responsible developments that will deliver economic benefits to their own constituents and to all Queenslanders,” he said.

Mr Seeney acknowledged that the Gold Coast quarry EIS evaluation report by the Coordinator General Barry Broe represented his 250th decision since being appointed in April 2012.

“The Coordinator General and his office have been working hard to streamline the necessary processes to advance important projects around the state,” he said.

More information on the Mount Cotton quarry is available at www.dsdip.qld.gov.au/development-applications/ministerial-call-in.html

The Coordinator General’s evaluation report for the Gold Coast quarry EIS is available at www.dsdip.qld.gov.au/gcq

[ENDS] 20 December 2013

Media Contact: Jane Paterson 0417 281 754 or Elizabeth Spry 0418 928 744

*Aerial maps of both developments attached


Mount Cotton quarry extension project

Project description: 52ha extension of a meta-greywacke quarry
Proponent: Barro Group, supplier of raw materials and concrete since 1946
Location: Mount Cotton Road, Mount Cotton
Estimated Production: approximately 800,000 tonnes per year
Value of project: $30 million initial direct investment in plant and equipment and $400 million over the 50-year life of the quarry
Employment: currently 15 staff and up to 50 additional staff on part-time basis
Traffic controls: traffic from the quarry is to access Mount Cotton Road only and no truck movements associated with the quarry are to occur on Wuduru Road or California Creek Road.
Environmental conditions require the proponent to:

  • Limit operational hours
  • Adhere to strict noise, blasting and air quality monitoring controls
  • Submit a revised Habitat Management Plan and Integrated Koala and Koala Habitat Report and adhere to management strategies protecting koalas during construction and operation
  • Adhere to the South East Queensland Koala Conservation State Planning Regulatory provisions and the Offsets for Net Gain of Koala Habitat in SEQ Policy requiring operators to plant five times as many trees as removed
  • Demonstrate fauna movement will not be affected by a result of development.

Further approvals required: the Barro Group must now comply with the conditions of the Deputy Premier’s approval, including submitting revised documents for approval such as a habitat management plan and vegetation offset rehabilitation management plan.
A Water Monitoring Plan and Site Closure and Rehabilitation Plan are also required.
The proponent must also seek Redland City Council approval for minor building and construction work.

Gold Coast quarry proposed project

Project description: a new extractive operation on a 217-hectare greenfield site. The project will include an external access road and associated intersection from Old Coach Road
Proponent: Boral, national construction materials supplier
Location: the proposed site borders Old Coach Road and Tallebudgera Creek Road, at Reedy Creek on the Gold Coast.
Estimated Production: two million tonnes per annum
Value of project: the project has an estimated value of $140-$160 million
Employment: the project will generate 246 construction jobs and 24 operational jobs
Traffic control: roads to be used by quarry trucks are to be upgraded and maintained to ensure safety for all users. Specifically operators must upgrade an on-ramp of the Old Coach Road / Bridgman Drive / Pacific Motorway to include an extended right turn lane. Trucks are not to use the southern end of Old Coach Road.
Environmental conditions require the proponent to:

  • Limit times of construction and operation, with blasting prohibited on weekends and public holidays
  • Cease quarrying activities between 6pm and 6.30am or on public holidays 
  • Strictly control dust and particulate matter emissions and ensure prescribed limits are not exceeded at adjoining residences or other sensitive places 
  • Cover truck loads when exiting the quarry and wash truck wheels to reduce dust
  • Adhere to strict noise levels at the outer boundary of the buffer zone, which are specified for different times of the day. Night time (10pm to 7am) noise limits, for example, are 30 dBA.

Further approvals required: the Gold Coast quarry proposal’s assessment will now move to the Federal Government for consideration of the potential impacts to listed threatened species and ecological communities of national environmental significance.