Monday, January 21, 2008
Only days away before the calling of Local Government Elections the Redland Shire Council appear set to approve a massive increase in quarry trucks on local roads, posing a major threat to both people and wildlife.
In August 2005, Council issued a Negotiated Decision Notice allowing for the expansion of the quarry. The conditions included:
- a maximum extraction rate of two million tonnes per annum, able to be increased by 10% due to market demand;
- truck movements limited to about 260 trucks each way each day, with allowable short term increase due to market demand by 20% (i.e. up to about 312 trucks).
At the Redland Shire Council Development Asessment Commitee meeting, scheduled for Tuesday 22 January 2008 commencing at 10:00am at Council Chambers, council appears it will approve a further increase.
2.3 The number of truck movements is to be limited to levels as detailed in the Beard Traffic Engineering report (i.e. an average of up to 453 trucks each way each day), with short-term fluctuations of up to 20% on a rolling 12 month average to respond to short-term market conditions (source: Redland Shire Council Minutes and Agendas Jan-Apr 08)
Mr Baltais spokesperson for the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland Bayside Branch said, "Increasing the truck movement from 260 trucks to 453 trucks represents an increased threat to people and wildlife."
The consultancy report states, quarry truck volumes are likely to rise from a current level of 560 trip ends per average day to 906 (61% increase).
"Particularly disturbing is the fact that this rate of truck movement is to be allowed to increase to 543 trucks each way each day due to a 20% fluctuation clause suggested by the Redland Shire Council report." said Mr. Baltais.
Mr Baltais said, "Anyone who travels this road already knows they have to run the gauntlet of heavy trucks and certainly wildlife are going to struggle to get across from one side of the road to the other alive given this massive increase in traffic."
Mr. Baltais said, “The Redland Shire Council knows the koala population has declined by 27% in the Redland Shire in less than 7 years, and the second biggest killer of koalas is vehicles. So it begs the question why you would increase heavy vehicle movement through the Koala Conservation Area, this is the habitat of greatest importance to the koala, habitat that provides koalas some chance of survival.
"However, the most disturbing factor of all is that Councillors will be deciding this matter only days away from the start of the Local Government election. Any reasonable council surely would leave this significant decision to the new council given the negative impacts will span over many many years." said Mr. Baltais.
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