Quarry has to answer community

By Sonia Isaacs

HANSON Glasshouse Quarry will be required to prepare a community impact assessment report after the Sunshine Coast Council found its application to double extraction lacked detail on issues including community consultation, traffic, and noise impacts.
Hanson is seeking to double rock extraction at its Glasshouse Mountains quarry from 600,000 tonnes to 1.2 million tonnes.
In its application to the SCC it filed a number of independent reports, which largely found Hanson could increase extraction and remain compliant within its current zoning rules.
However in a letter to Hanson, SCC Principal Development Planner, John Borthwick wrote that more detail, via a community impact assessment report would be required.
“The proposed quarry may have potential impacts on the surrounding community from blasting activities, noise, dust, vibration and visual amenity on surrounding residents, tourism and the State Heritage listed Glass House Mountains,” Mr Borthwick wrote.
“In addition, the increased volume of traffic along the haulage route may also have potential detrimental impacts on the community from volume of truck movements, safety, noise, dust, and vibration.
Mr Borthwick added that there had been “no assessment of the social impacts on the community” in the original application.
“It is understood that the applicant has been consulting with residents and community groups, but the extent is of this consultation and the outcome is unknown,” he wrote.
The assessment report will address issues including possible impacts in an objective and inclusive way; whether or not possible impacts are acceptable; and how possible impacts might be managed.
Hanson will need to state the likely impacts on the community of the proposed development surrounding the site, State Heritage Place – Glass House Mountains National Park and along the haulage route; a statement of the measures to be used to avoid or mitigate negative impacts on the community of the proposed development and to enhance potential positive impacts on the community of the development; details of consultation undertaken with the community to determine impacts on the community of the development; and outcomes of the consultation and how any potential social impacts are addressed or impacts are managed in accordance with an agreed management regime.
The council found that Hanson’s original traffic impact assessment report material did not provide sufficient information. The business will need to submit the full vehicle classification data (volume breakdown by hour) per direction for each day of the three pneumatic tube count locations over the two-week survey periods identified in the submitted traffic report.
The council also found the initial application did not appropriately address the potential noise impacts on the community.
Hanson also has to go back to the drawing board over its proposal to upgrade some sections of road and pay council 11 cents per tonne for extraction over 600,000 tonnes. It currently pays 47 cents per tonne up to 600,000 tonnes.
Mr Borthwick wrote: “Should the application be approved, these are issues that are unable to be reasonably conditioned as part of any development permit. An Infrastructure Agreement would be required.”
Hanson will also have to address the impact deeper extraction could have on ground and surface water “within and adjacent to the site”.
The request for more information comes as concerned residents forge ahead with plans for a community forum at Glasshouse Mountains Community Hall on Monday September 4.
The forum is expected to include quarry and government representatives, residents and local stakeholders.
A local community group has recently formed to address numerous concerns around the proposed quarry expansion.
A Facebook group ; ‘Save our Glasshouse Mountains’ has now been established and has already attracted about 1000 members.
Organiser, Megan Standring, said residents were already meeting with other grassroots community groups such as the Hinterland Quarry Action Group to share resources and boost exposure for their emerging campaign.
The Community Forum will be held at the Glass House Mountains Community Hall, 8 Coonowrin Road, Glass House Mountains from 7pm-9pm.
More information is available via the Save Our Glasshouse Mountains Facebook page or saveourglasshousemountains@gmail.com