Submissions closing on DA to reinstate quarry operations at Bournda Downs

A development application has been submitted to Bega Valley Shire Council that would see Bournda Downs Quarry reinstated for use to extract a resource commonly used to construct roads.

Location Map showing Bournda Downs Property. The large mass of water pictured is Wallagoot Lake. Source: SIX Maps

Location Map showing Bournda Downs Property. The large mass of water pictured is Wallagoot Lake. Source: SIX Maps

Bournda Downs Quarry site, originally approved at a size of 1.97ha, was approved to operate in 1997 and ceased operation in 2010 when its consent expired.

The site was cleared of vegetation, a storm water management system was created, and a haul road was constructed to connect with Sapphire Coast Drive.

The new application has been submitted to council by Pitch Designs on behalf on Blu Wren - a registered ABN active since January 2021.

The resource extracted by the quarry is a volcanic rock commonly called rhyolite and is mainly used for road construction as well as erosion control for buildings. The company intends to extract a maximum of 29,000 cubic metres of material from the site per year.

The proposed quarry site is identical to the footprint of the previous approval. The quarry site is in the southwest corner the property and adjoins Bournda Nature Reserve to the west and south and freehold land to the North and East.

Wallagoot Lake is located approximately 1000m from the Eastern Boundary of the property and 2600m from the quarry site.

The surrounding land is either heavily forested or used for cattle grazing. There are smaller, rural residential allotments located in the vicinity of the subject site with the closest residence being 1.2km from the quarry site.

The company intends to operate between 7am and 5pm Monday to Friday, and 7am until 1pm on Saturdays, with the exclusion of Sundays and public holidays.

Some of the activities on the site include ripping with bulldozer or excavator for weathered material, drilling and blasting using explosives of fresh material, extraction of material using a front-end loader or excavator, crushing, screening and stockpiling of materials.

The transportation activities will include loading stockpiled materials into haulage trucks and the transportation of materials from the quarry site along haul routes for delivery.

A number of relevant impact reports have been submitted along with the DA to council.

Biodiversity report

The biodiversity report concluded since the development was contained to a previously disturbed area and would not include vegetation removal, it would not produce a significant impact on threatened species found in the area.

Cultural Heritage report

The cultural heritage report found that a number of archaeological studies were conducted over the years and that two low research potential artifacts were found. It concluded that the likelihood of additional artifacts was low given the land form and historic use of the site by Aboriginal people.

Stormwater report

Under the proposed DA the existing footprint of the quarry would not change and runoff from the quarry would continued to be managed through use of the existing sediment basin. A number of recommendations were also made, such as to ensure the diversion of clean flows away from the quarry pit.

Traffic report

The access and traffic report concluded that the existing access infrastructure at the intersection between Sapphire Coast Drive and the haul route, known as Quarry Fire Trail, was sufficient. The report stated that traffic generated was also likely to be minimal, anticipating an average of four contractor vehicle movements per month and two part-time staff members as well as up to a maximum of 30 haulage trucks per day.

Noise report

The blast and noise impact report used data from a similar site. The recommended maximum level for airblast is 115dB(L) which can only be exceeded on 5% of blasts over 12 months.

The report found that any background noise from the extraction site was likely to be inaudible or limited given the amount of current traffic noise on Sapphire Coast Drive.

Despite this there would be mitigation measures such as strict operation hours, and a complaints register would be implemented.

Air quality report

Air quality was also likely to be impacted due to the composition of the material, dense vegetation, distance and topography or the site. However mitigation such as watering down of stockpiles would be undertaken.

Bushfire report

The report submitted found the development was considered low risk in terms of bushfire risk and met all recommendations for industrial development.

Social and Economic Report

The material is in ongoing demand and given haulage was the biggest cost, a extractor would allow for local materials to be sourced to accommodate growth in local infrastructure.

The report stated similar materials were currently sourced from Bombala and Nimmitabel and so costs for locals and environmental costs in mileage would be reduced.

The development would also support further employment opportunities.

Submissions to council are closing 

If you wish to make a submission to council about the proposed development application, a 14 day time period has been allocated.

Submissions are closing this Friday August 27.

Comments or submissions can be sent to:

Let other readers know what you think as well with a letter to the editor using the below form

This story Submissions closing on DA to reinstate quarry operations at Bournda Downs first appeared on Bega District News.