The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposal by Gaspersic Pty Ltd for a capacity increase to the Heemskirk Quarry in West Coast Council municipality. The proposal was referred to the Board in August 2021.
The proposal is for an increase to the existing quarry extraction and processing limits from 18,000m3 to 50,000m3 per year. This will be facilitated by increasing the allowable area of disturbance to a total of 5 hectares over the quarry's 40 year proposed lifetime. This will take place in a staged operation, and the proponent will be required to complete ongoing rehabilitation of the site.
The EPA Deputy Director, Cindy Ong, who made the determination under delegation from the EPA Board, concluded that the proposed development can be managed in an environmentally sustainable and acceptable manner, with certain conditions. The Board requires these conditions to be included in any permit subsequently granted by the West Coast Council.
“Various environmental issues were considered by the Board in its assessment, particularly the presence of a threatened orchid species, and roadkill risk for Tasmanian devils. These issues will be addressed through conditions requiring pre-clearance surveys, and limiting cartage truck movements to daylight hours only, respectively. Other conditions imposed are standard for EPA regulated quarries, such as waste and blasting management, sediment control and rehabilitation requirements" Ms Ong said.
Public consultation was open for 14 days from 4 to18 September 2021. One representation was received in relation to the permit application. The issue raised in this representation related to a planning matter, namely the provision of a traffic impact assessment.
The proposal was considered by the Deputy Director in the context of the sustainable development objectives of the Resource Management and Planning System of Tasmania (RMPS), and in the context of the objectives of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control System (EMPCS) established by the EMPC Act.
The functions of the EPA are to administer and enforce the provisions of the EMPC Act, to further the RMPS and EMPCS objectives and, in particular, to use its best endeavours to protect the environment of Tasmania.
The Deputy Director undertook the assessment of the proposal in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Principles defined in Section 74 of the Act.
The Deputy Director's environmental assessment report, including the environmental conditions, has been issued to the proponent and West Coast Council for their information.
The decision by the EPA Director can be viewed at Gaspersic Contracting Pty Ltd, Heemskirk Quarry, Granville Harbour - Capacity Increase.