Updated: May 27
This is a copy of a submission issued to the Planning Minister, which we are sharing with permission from the author. Please use this to help formulate your responses/submissions to the key decision makers.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to raise my concerns regarding the development of a hard rock quarry near The Royalla Station Country Estate in NSW.
First, let me say that there are over 500 homes in the estate in an area zoned rural residential. Currently we already have 2 quarries in close proximity to our homes.
Since I have lived in Royalla we have had to deal with proposed cluster housing; the solar farm; the McKillop Family Services House (which is right next door); the cemetery and proposed crematorium and now this 3rd quarry.
I question the need for this quarry. There are several more located nearby e.g between Nimmitabel and Cooma. Surely any extra demand for products can be obtained from these and other existing quarries! Im sure that they have the capacity to increase productivity, and savings will be achieved through added economies of scale.
I am concerned for my health, and for that of my partner and neighbours. Operation of a quarry produces dust which can cause cancers. It can also effect air quality.
I am concerned for the beautiful environment we have out here; the impact on flora and fauna. I understand that we have wildlife here which is on the critically endangered list.
I am concerned about the effect of quarry operations on ground water/water table.
i am concerned about the increased traffic movements as trucks enter and leave the quarry. My understanding is that there will be up to 200 movements a day. The amount of road kill out here is already horrendous.
I am concerned about noise pollution from blasting and other quarry activities.
I am concerned that land which has been zoned for a specific purpose can easily be re-zoned for other purposes if money is to be made.
I am concerned that management/owners can make unsubstantiated claims to argue their case. For example, there are no significant concerns of nearby residents which need addressing. And the quarry will significantly reduce the cost of construction for housing an other projects. And that 30 new jobs will be created (will they be local people?)
I am concerned about the integrity of the proposal when it is claimed that the local community has been consulted. As i said, there are 500 homes in Royalla. Some 126 leaflets were distributed here. How they were chosen is unknown. But areas impacted by the quarry, using a 10 k radius, extend from North Fyshwick in the North to Carwoola in the East to Calwell/Condor in the West and to The Angle and Williamsdale in the South. It is unknown whether any of these areas were consulted.
I am concerned that the venture will not adhere to all the rules/regulations and requirements that they will have to follow to operate. The existing quarries dont.
And lastly I am concerned because I feel like Im being treated with contempt in respect to how my opinions are sought, heard and dealt with. It feels like the attitude is "We'll just build a quarry. Doesnt matter that it is near houses. They might complain but we have resources to fight them. And we know the processes to be followed and any 'noise' will soon pass. They'll give up."
I retired out here. Its beautiful. I love it. Why can someone come and destroy it? If we need the hard rocks so desperately, go find it somewhere removed from residential areas.
I hope that you give my concerns some thought and come to the conclusion that the development of a quarry at Royalla would not be in the best interests of people, the environment, the economy (increased health costs, lower land values, lower house prices, pollution costs) and the local wildlife.
At 27 May 2021, this correspondence had not been responded to. A follow up below:
Hello Rob. I have written to you previously regarding the proposal to develop a 4th quarry in the Royalla area. I am eagerly awaiting your response. I have a few succinct points which I think get quickly to the essence of why the quarry does not, and should not, need to go ahead. We already have quarries in the area which are not operating at full capacity. If more product is needed then these existing ones can increase capacity/productivity. Thus, there will be no need to destroy the environment and the habitat of several critically endangered species which live out here. And there will be no need to further pollute the environment which should be protected because it is so close to densely populated areas. I think these considerations alone are enough to stop any development. Thank you.