A PUBLIC meeting about proposed increase in output from the Hy-Tec Quarry at Bonny Hills attracted 70 people last week.
Hy-Tec, operators of the Grants Head Quarry between Bonny Hills and North Haven, is proposing to increase the rate of output from the site by 60 per cent over the next five years. The meeting was convened by the BH Progress Association with Hy-Tec.
Trent Alexander, a resident of Bonny Hills and General Manager of Hy-Tec Concrete & Aggregates Northern NSW, led the presentation by the Hy-Tec team and their consultants, in explaining the proposal for an increase in rate of output to 200,000 tonnes per annum over the next five years.
“The primary purpose of the increase is to service planned upgrades to the Pacific Highway region,” Mr Alexander said.
“The proposal covers an increase in the rate at which resource is extracted for a period of up to five years within the current approved quarry footprint.
“Operating hours of the quarry will be unchanged - operating 6am to 6pm weekdays and 6am to 2pm Saturdays with no Sunday or public holiday work. Overall, the annual average number of truck movements per day is not expected to increase as Hy-Tec is proposing to move to larger capacity trucks. However, during proposed peak output
periods, estimated up to five days in a working month, there is potential for an increase in truck movements.
“Additionally studies have shown air quality will not be impacted with the temporary increase in extraction limits and noise studies show no additional impacts on the community.
“The proposed increase in extraction limits is expected to provide direct employment for three full time employees and flow on effects into the local economy.”
Nathan Hegerty, Environmental Resources Australia, based in Port Macquarie, will lead the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for Hy-Tec’s Development Application to Port Macquarie-Hastings Council. Public exhibition of the proposal for 28 days will provide the community with an opportunity to comment.
“Mr The likely tenor of comments can be gauged from questions posed by residents at the meeting,” said Phil Hafey from the Bonny Hills Progress Association .
“Previous EIA’s have focused largely on the quarry itself, but most of the questions focused on the impacts of trucks travelling back and forth through Bonny Hills, and out along Houston Mitchell Drive to the Pacific Highway. Concerns centred around the impacts of noise, dust and vibration on both people and property, as well as impacts on traffic flows, pedestrian safety and the deteriorating quality of roads.
“Currently there are about 40 truck trips per day - half loaded and half empty - most going through Bonny Hills between 6am and 6pm weekdays - plus 6am to 2pm Saturdays. The period between 6 and 7am is of particular concern to residents. It was stated that truck trips per day should not change because larger trucks will be used in future, but at peak times of demand there can be more. Hy-Tec own 6 trucks over which they have full control, but people are concerned that less control is possible over trucks owned by subcontractors.
“And while Hy-Tec considers this to be a temporary increase, many residents consider 5 years to be a long period and wonder if it will end then.”
The proposal can be viewed online at www.pmhc.nsw.gov.au or at council offices.