The following from MCQAG sums up recent events very well. It includes the Land And Environment court judge dismissing the Daracon (aka Buttai Gravel and Hunter Industrial Rental Equipment) application to indefinitely defer the court action brought by Dungog Shire Council. The case will be heard as planned in February.
Dear Members and Friends
Firstly thank you to everyone who lodged a submission objecting to the proposed expansion of Martins Creek Quarry. Also thank you to the many people who contacted MCQAG offering assistance, advice and support.
Here is the wrap up of a busy end to 2016;
State Significant Development Application
The exhibition period is one of the few opportunities members of the public can have their say and influence decision makers. We understand that everyone who lodged a submission will now be entitled to address the Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC) public meeting or hearing that will be held if the Daracon proposal is not rejected by the Minister prior.
MCQAG’s committee’s supplementary submission was lodged with the Department of Planning last week, you can read MCQAG’s submission via this link.
We note there were around 800 submissions lodged. ~410 of these were objections. A number of submissions included Daracon staff and contractors submitting form letters showing their support for the EIS.
There were also multiple government and agency submissions lodged. The most interesting are in the links are listed below;
• Department of Planning
• Dungog Shire Council
• Port Stephens Council
As noted in the agency and local government submissions above there appears to be numerous issues and deficiencies that will require the proponent to “do more work” on the EIS.
It looks to us like the EIS will need to be revised completely to address the short comings identified from submissions and according to Daracon’s own planning consultant there won’t likely be a determination on the DA until December 2017.
Land & Environment Court Proceedings
In November this year whilst the EIS was on exhibition Daracon lodged a Notice of Motion with the Land and Environment Court seeking a deferral of the main Court hearing which is set to be heard on the 13th of February 2017.
This court matter is independent of the State Significant Development process and relates to lawfulness of the current operations at the site.
On the 9th of December his Honour Justice Sheahan heard arguments from both sides as to why the substantial court case set for February next year should or should not be delayed.
Today his Honor Justice Sheahan issued his judgment dismissing the Notice of Motion and awarding costs to Dungog Shire, the 3 week hearing as we understand it will commence on the 13th of February. You can read the judgement handed down today via this link.
Action Group Update
Committee meetings will re commence in February, if you are interested in coming along or joining as a financial member please contact MCQAG via the webpage.
On behalf of the committee we wish you all a safe and merry Christmas
After lodging a complaint to Hanson last week about early morning truck noise, we discovered that the empty trucks before 5am were servicing the Martins Creek quarry. Hanson often dispatch about 6 full trucks before 6am, but they are loaded then remain on site over night. The ones we observed did travel quietly. PSC will be lodging a complaint to Daracon about 4:30am trucks on Port Stephens roads.
As this is expected to be the last post from the BHSA committee this year, we also wish you Merry Christmas and a safe, happy and healthy 2017.