Environment Minister Judy Edwards has set new conditions on a Red Hill quarry operator to help resolve a long-running dispute between the company and a neighbouring landowner.
The conditions mean that the operator will have to continue planting an existing overburden dump with native vegetation to address short-term visual impacts. It also will have to implement a screening and revegetation program to improve the visual landscape of the quarry from neighbouring properties both in the short and longer term.
Dr Edwards said Ministerial conditions she had set on Hanson Construction Materials Pty Ltd’s quarry meant the company would have to consult closely with surrounding landowners who were affected by the quarry operations.
The revegetation programs would also have to meet Environmental Protection Authority standards.
The Minister’s decision follows an EPA report she commissioned, following complaints from a landowner that the quarry had breached Ministerial conditions and other environmental approvals.
These alleged breaches included operating the quarry beyond its approved area and adversely impacting on the visual amenity of the quarry’s neighbours.
Dr Edwards noted the EPA’s advice that the original environmental impact assessment, which was conducted in 1991, had a number of shortcomings, particularly in its prediction of visual impacts and the definition of the quarry boundaries.
“I have visited the area and there is no doubt that the quarry is clearly visible from private land to the north,” she said.
“It appears these impacts were not properly identified in the original assessment.
“The changes I have made to the implementation conditions are directed at addressing this issue by requiring the company to work in co-operation with local landholders to minimise the visual impact of the operations.
“While the visual impact cannot be removed, it appears that there is some scope to make substantial improvements over time. I have requested that the company work with affected landholders to achieve a beneficial outcome.”
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