Well the New Year has long passed, but little has changed so this is the status for the start of 2018.
The CCC (Community Consultative Committee) meeting that Hanson had proposed for December did not go ahead, so there has been no progress to report regarding Hanson’s EIS. The next meeting of the CCC is now planned for Friday 9th March, so hopefully we have something positive to report from that.
Les & Deb Fisher resigned from the BHSA committee when they moved from Brandy Hill in October, leaving the BHSA committee severely depleted. As BHSA is a sub-committee of VOWW, at the VOWW meeting in November, James Moore, Bronwyn White, Chantal Parslow-Redman and AnneMarie Abel were all endorsed to join the BHSA committee. Thank you to all those people for lending a hand, and joining Neil & Margarete Ritchie and Peter Rees on the committee.
The CCC committee was also depleted with Les Fishers departure. Lisa Andrews the “independent” chairperson, decided that no new CCC members would be appointed without a recruitment process that was in accordance to Department of Planning rules for formal CCCs (which this pre approval group is not). Advertisements were placed in the local paper and formal applications were required and vetted. The new BHSA committee members all applied. James and Bronwyn were accepted, AnneMarie was rejected and Chantal was only accepted as an alternate to fill in for any other BHSA member’s absence. Pre McGee from Seaham was also approved to join the CCC, and PSC endorsed Paul LeMottee to be council’s delegate. A position was also reserved for the Local Aboriginal Land Council.
The CCC community members are now:
1 Robert Adams – Seaham Community Local Resident
2 Peter Rees – Woodville Community VOWW
3 Margarete Ritchie – Brandy Hill Community VOWW, BHSA,
4 Neil Ritchie – Brandy Hill Community VOWW, BHSA, Martins Creek Quarry Action Group & RFS
5 Pre McGee – Seaham Community, Seaham Park Wetlands & Red Cross
5 Bronwyn White -Seaham Community Local Resident, VOWW, BHSA
6 James Moore -Brandy Hill Community VOWW & BHSA
7 Delegate – Mindaribba Local Aboriginal Land Council
8 Cr Paul Le Mottee (nominated delegate) Port Stephens Shire Council
9 Alternate: Chantel Parslow Redman – Seaham Community, VOWW & BHSA
BHSA stands by its submission primarily objecting to 24/7, the huge increase in truck traffic and the inadequacy of the main transport routes for the safety of drivers, riders, pedestrians and school buses. If we had visited the quarries in the southern highlands beforehand, our objections would have been even stronger regarding the above aspects, and much stronger on the issues of noise and dust emanating from the quarry site. The Holcim quarry has enclosed all crushing and conveying machinery to supress noise and dust at the source; no such measures are proposed for Brandy Hill.
At the last meeting in Paterson in February, Daracon had advised MCQAG that a social impact consultant had been engaged to assist in the consultation process and advise Daracon on how they should respond to submissions. Members were skeptical that anything would be achieved, but will work with the consultant in good faith. (This is similar to Hanson engaging Key Insights).
The land and environment court judge in the DSC vs Daracon case has still not handed down a verdict.
A Power Point presentation on the southern highlands quarry trip is nearing completion. A draft copy was provided to Neil, to show PSC what can be done to improve roads and intersections, supress noise and dust and reduce negative impacts on social amenity and safety, when a quarry operator truly is concerned for the community in which they operate.
If there are any Hanson Quarry issues that you would like to have discussed in General Business at the upcoming CCC meeting (Friday 9th March), please contact us through this website.
Has anyone else noticed the huge pile of overburden creeping towards Clarence Town Road. It is getting larger all the time and there is no watering or retarding of the dust in evidence. I contacted Port Stephens Council, only to be told its an EPA issue. Didn’t the council give them the permit, surely they should have a look.
Darren, thanks for your comment.
The CCC meeting on Friday included a site inspection for the benefit of the new members. We asked about that rock pile. Hanson’s answer was that it is the start of the bund wall that is included in the EIS for the expansion. That wall is being constructed from overburden and other waste material. The bund wall is to enclose the crushing and other processing equipment when it is moved for stage 4, when the rock extraction pit will be extended underneath where the processing equipment is currently located. The wall is intended to be 18 metres high, and act as a sight and noise barrier. Hanson says it will be vegetated after construction, to reduce the visual impact.
It does illustrate how much closer the processing area will be to Clarence Town Road, Seaham and Brandy Hill, and the residents in those areas. Google Earth currently shows the bund wall as it was in October 2016. I will try to include an image in our next post which we be about that CCC meeting.
We will raise the matter with PSC when are next in there.
On a general note, Hanson advised that the best contact point for any complaints about the quarry (eg noise, dust, trucks) is to call the quarry. The number is in the phone book white pages under “Brandy Hill Quarries”, 4988 6166. BHSA encourages everyone to lodge complaints directly with the quarry ASAP. Ask for a complaint reference number, and also let us know.