The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposed increase in the annual production limit for an existing quarry at Bashan Road, Waddamana in the Central Highlands municipality.

The proposal by D.J Downie & S.M Downie is to increase production to a maximum of 74,900 cubic metres per annum, with operation 7am to 7pm seven days a week, expanding the current quarry footprint to produce a maximum open area of 2.9 hectares.

The EPA Director, Mr Wes Ford, who made the determination under delegation from the EPA Board, concluded the proposed development could be managed in an environmentally sustainable and acceptable manner, with certain conditions. The EPA requires the conditions to be included in any permit subsequently granted by the Central Highlands Council.

“Various environmental issues were considered in the assessment, particularly the impact on flora and fauna, and management of dust emissions and sediment,” Mr Wes Ford said. 

“The proposed footprint largely avoids identified threatened species habitat,” he said.

“Cartage from the site has been restricted to daylight hours, and ongoing standard mitigation measures are required to minimise dust emissions,” said Mr Ford.

No representations were received in relation to the permit application, which was referred to the Board in June 2017. Public consultation was open for a 14 day period commencing 20 September 2017.

The proposal was considered by the 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 Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA).

The functions of the EPA are to administer and enforce the provisions of EMPCA, and in particular to use its best endeavours to protect the environment of Tasmania, and to further the RMPS and EMPCS objectives.

The Director undertook the assessment of the proposal in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Principles defined in Section 74 of the Act.

The Director’s environmental assessment, including the environmental conditions that must be included in any permit, have been forwarded to Central Highlands Council, for review of planning issues prior to making a decision as to whether a permit is to be granted.

The decision by the EPA Director can be viewed on the EPA website at http://epa.tas.gov.au/assessment/completed-assessments