City of Busselton Council defer decision on Kaloorup sand mine

City of Busselton councillors deferred a decision for one month on whether a development application for a sand and gravel pit in Kaloorup should be approved.

Margaret River Natural Resources Pty Ltd submitted an application to extract 200,000 tonnes of sand and gravel over an area of 20.94 hectares at Lot 101 (285) Gibb Road, Kaloorup.

City officers had recommended councillors approve the DA subject to the proponent meeting more than 40 conditions.

Under the conditions set by city officers the proponent would be required to widen an unsealed section of Gibb Road to seven metres, pay $225,000 in bonds for road maintenance, dust management and land rehabilitation and restrict truck movements to 20 per day.

Councillor Sue Riccelli raised an alternative motion to defer consideration of the DA until its meeting on March 11, 2020, which was supported 5-4 by councillors.

Ms Riccelli said there was insufficient details on non-compliant issues or audits being carried out at existing sand pit operations.

"Figures provided stating that 21 out of 29 extractive industries have been or are still non-compliant (no matter how minor) is excessive and indicate tighter conditions, audits and monitoring needed to be considered for future applications," she said.

"Given the compliance record to date with other extractive industries, I am not satisfied that the proponent could practically oversee these conditions and maintain compliance."

Ms Riccelli said information about non-compliant operations could not be provided by the city, leaving councillors unaware of what causes such a large number of operators to be non-compliant.

She said this prevented councillors from having enough information to suggest conditions to prevent non-compliance from occurring.

Councillors Paul Carter and Ross Paine spoke against Ms Riccelli's alternative motion.

Mr Carter said non-compliances issues should not be considered because there were conditions on the DA to pressure the proponent to comply.

Mr Paine said other reasons for deferring the application would not bring more information to light and if officers needed more time to assess the DA they would take more time.

During public question time several Kaloorup residents raised concerns about the sand mine including Mark Petterson who questioned the proponents ability to administer the conditions.

Mr Petterson, who previously operated a sand mine in Margaret River, said pits were open to the public and once a credit rating was established people could go in and extract what they wanted.