Rural

Farmer appeals $4m quarry because of disruption to cattle

OPPOSED: Bajool Brahman breeder Brett McCamley is taking court action against Gladstone Regional Council for its approval of a quarry near his property.
OPPOSED: Bajool Brahman breeder Brett McCamley is taking court action against Gladstone Regional Council for its approval of a quarry near his property. FILE

A BAJOOL farmer has launched an appeal against a $4m Raglan quarry's development, which could delay its construction by months.

The farmer, Brett McCamley, of Fern Hills, has lodged an appeal in the Planning and Environment Court against Gladstone Regional Council, which approved the quarry in May after more than a year of negotiations with Rockhampton Regional Council.

In his appeal Mr McCamley says cattle weight gain would become a major issue as "cattle will not eat properly or adjust well to the constant movement of heavy vehicles and dust…".

The document, filed on October 29, states he will lose one third of the year for grazing due to the disruption caused by noise and dust because of the "time taken for new cattle to adjust to the disturbances".

Council failed

The quarry, owned by HME Quarries, is in a valley and will mine a high-quality, blue-metal rock, ideal for sealing roads, during a 20-year period.

It is expected to produce 50,000 tonnes in the first year with a maximum output of 500,000 tonnes per year and create 10 jobs.

At its peak, there could be up to 98 truck movements a day and about five blasting operations per year.

Mr McCamley says both Rockhampton and Gladstone regional councils failed to take the development's impact on his work and lifestyle into account when approving the project.

That has been rejected by Gladstone Regional Council chief executive officer Stuart Randle, who said careful consideration was given to all factors and all neighbouring properties.

Needs sealing

The council was given the responsibility of final approvals and will now have to defend that decision in court, most likely alongside Rockhampton Regional Council.

During the public submission period there were 12 submissions lodged with the council covering concerns around road safety, noise and dust, land valuation and cost of road upgrades.

Mr Randle said the final application met all legal requirements including specific evidence on how dust and other nuisances raised in the submissions would be managed. Mr McCamley's stockyard is just over 1.3km from the haul road, which was adjusted to ensure a 1km buffer from surrounding properties.

The Fern Hills homestead is 2.8km from the quarry site.

The quarry is in a valley, but HME Quarries has committed to using a water truck to minimise dust as well as constant monitoring and reporting on dust levels.

HME Quarries will also contribute $0.30 per tonne of material transported from the quarry for road upgrades.

Despite the conditions, Mr McCamley states in his appeal that "no amount of water trucks would be able to cope with the laying of dust" and "the haul road, if left in the proposed position, should be sealed".

Haul roads for the quarry are in Rockhampton Regional Council's area and controlled by Rockhampton Regional Council and the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Both Gladstone and Rockhampton councils have placed conditions on the development to ensure it complies with legislation.

Those conditions include paying for an upgrade to the Bruce Hwy and South Ulam Rd intersection and trucks are only allowed to use the intersection between 6.30am and 6.30pm.

"The applicants, through their consultants, CQG Consulting, developed an environmental management plan which includes an air quality management plan designed specifically to manage the type of impact described by (Mr McCamley)," Mr Randle said.

We were unable to contact Mr McCamley for comment yesterday.

Topics:  environment, environment court, farming, gladstone




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