Kiama Council and community members have voiced their strong opposition to Boral’s proposal to extend its sandmining operations to sites to the east and south of Dunmore House.
One hundred and forty six submissions were lodged in opposition to the proposal, and one for it. This has triggered the need for it to be considered by the Independent Planning Commission, rather than the Department of Planning & Environment.
The first pit of 324,000 tonnes is proposed for the eastern side of Dunmore House, abutting Riverside Drive and opposite Minnamurra Recycling Depot.
The second larger site is to the south west of Dunmore House, on the flood plainof the Minnamurra River.
This second site is to be a 27 metre deep pit, left as a water body once 1,123,000 tonnes are mined.
While the sites in question are not in the Kiama Municipality, their position adjacent to the ecologically sensitive Minnamurra River is causing great concern.
A spokesman for Boral says, “Boral’s modification seeks only to continue the existing operation of Dunmore Sand and Soil, and support its 11 employees and local contractors, as has been the case for the past 20 years.”
There is only six months of approved resources left at its existing operation at Dunmore. A report by the Department of Planning and Environment has identified that extra new sand resources, located adjacent to existing operations, are needed to meet the construction needs of the greater Sydney region to 2036.
Former Deputy Mayor and member of Friends of the Minnamurra River, Richard Maitland has been defending the River since 1976, when a proposal to mine the same area was denied.
During the Eighties and Nineties, he fought to stop the original proposal for the highway upgrade, which included filling in the eastern bank of the river.
“Boral is taking advantage of a window of opportunity between old and new environment legislation,” he says.
“They are looking to piggyback off approval they were given in 2005 for their Rocklow Creek operations.
“We contend that these two new pits should beassessed as new developments, subject to the requirements of the new legislation, particularly the need to do an Environmental Impact Statement.
“The area they are looking to mine is endangered Bangalay forest community, which is protected by both State and Federal legislation,