PLANS to extend the life of a Fish Creek quarry are set to be approved by South Gippsland Shire Council this week.
Operators of the facility at 150 Fish Creek Quarry Road, Fish Creek, 3.5km south-east of Fish Creek, have applied for a planning permit, seeking approval for the expansion of existing use and development of the land for extractive industry.
Although the proposal has attracted 11 objections, council officers have recommended administrators issue a notice of decision to approve the application.
The proposed expansion has already passed the first stage of approval by the Victorian government under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act (1990) which includes the endorsement of a Work Plan Variation to allow the increased extraction area and removal of native vegetation.
Council permission is required before the final approval under the Act.
The original planning permit for the quarry was issued in 1996 and amended in 2008 to increase the extraction area.
The latest proposal would not increase the current extraction rate of about 60,000 tonnes per annum but would extend the life of the quarry towards 2040 by developing four extra stages.
Objectors raised concerns about the visual impacts of expansion, effects on tourism developments, noise and heavy vehicle impacts, water quality issues, air quality, risk of landslip and erosion, native vegetation removal and past non-compliances on the site.
A report to Wednesday’s council meeting said the concerns raised by the objectors were the key issues for consideration.
The existing permit authorises the use of extractive industry, so council is required to consider whether the physical activity meets the relevant objectives and decision guidelines of the South Gippsland Planning Scheme.
Other factors such as vegetation, groundwater and rehabilitation are addressed through the existing Work Authority approvals on the land and the current Endorse Work Authority Variation issued by the Victorian government under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act (1990).
The application is recommended for approval with new conditions required by the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and South Gippsland Water.
The CFA requires a documented risk management process and South Gippsland Water requires that the operation of the quarry in no way affects the quality of water obtained from within its catchment.
CFA also requires an emergency management plan be developed or existing plan updated.
Council officers included updated road maintenance requirements in their recommendation to approve the application.