Rocky council in court: Quarry expansion hits roadblock

The quarry at 184 Yeppoon Rd.
The quarry at 184 Yeppoon Rd. Adam Wratten

THE developer of a proposed expanded quarry at Norman Gardens is appealing a Rockhampton Regional Council decision in the Planning and Environment Court.

Vynque Pty Ltd lodged its notice of appeal against the council and Department of Infrastructure and Local Government and Planning in the court last week.

The appeal relates to a large block of land at 184 Yeppoon Rd, which has been used for the purposed of "an extractive industry hard rock quarry known as the Peak Hill Quarry” for about 50 years.

After lodging an application in 2015 to expand its operation to an area of 30.75ha from 20.6ha, the application was approved in August this year before the developer was advised mid-September of a negotiated decision, advising of a number of conditions imposed by the Department of Local Government, Infrastructure and Planning on behalf of the chief executive of the Sustainable Planning Act.

These included:

  • The extractive operation is limited to 200,000 tonnes per year;
  • Roadworks are completed at an access site to the quarry;
  • Further roadworks are undertaken on the Rockhampton-Yeppoon Rd at Access 2 to incorporate a short channelised right turn and embankment trimming.

The developers argue there is no planning purpose or imperative that requires extraction to be restricted to 200,000 tonnes a year.

The average volume extracted is about 240,000.

It is further argued that the roadworks required to access the site "are not reasonably required as a result of the extension of the operation area” and are not necessary to maintain the safety and efficiency of the roadwork.

With regards to Rockhampton-Yeppoon Rd, the appeal says the land has historically been accessed from Access 3, which provides a superior traffic engineering solution.

"Access via Access 3 would not undermine the safety and efficient operation of the road network,” documents filed with the appeal says.

"The ancillary works required to utilise Access 2 is an unneccessary and unreasonable requirement in circumstances where Access 3 is an appropriate traffic engineering solution.”

Comment has been sought from Rockhampton Regional Council and the Queensland Government department.

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