Coast quarry to boost production by millions of tonnes

Construction company Barro Group has applied to Sunshine Coast Council to extract more than 1,000,000 tonnes of rock a year from the Burrum Quarry, about 2km west of Beerburrum.
Construction company Barro Group has applied to Sunshine Coast Council to extract more than 1,000,000 tonnes of rock a year from the Burrum Quarry, about 2km west of Beerburrum. Stuart Cumming

PLANS to ramp a rarely-used quarry up to unlimited production could bring benefits to a small Coast town according to a few of its long-term residents.

Victorian company Barro Group won a State Government tender in May last year for a 20-year sales permit on the Burrum Quarry.

It wants to truck the blue stone and sand stone it extracts from the site through Beerburrum to customers in the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay regions.

Upwards of 1,000,000 tonnes of rock could be hauled to major construction projects every year.

The possible business benefits from having an increase in heavy vehicle traffic through the town appealed to Beerburrum Post Office owner Ron Ratcliffe.

He has been in business for 35 years and said the town needed something to "bring a bit of spark back”.

"It might bring some life to the town,” Mr Ratcliffe said.

"The truck drivers will know there is a cafe next door.

"There will be a bit of spin-off and that is what we need.”

Justice of the Peace and resident of 43 years Helen Manson said the town had died down in the years since the Bruce Hwy was rerouted around it.

She couldn't see a problem with having more heavy vehicle traffic.

"I think it will be absolutely fantastic,” Ms Manson said.

However, some other residents were not so keen on a potential increase.

Beerburrum Woodford Rd resident Jess Northcott took issue with the potential for wear on the roads and noise from the trucks.

A development application submitted this week to Sunshine Coast Council said the earliest recorded quarry operations at the Beerburrum Woodford Rd quarry site dated back to the 1970s.

"Burrum Quarry has been in operation intermittently and on a small scale since this time, providing quarry material for forestry and road-making activities in the area,” the application read.

Barro Group has asked it be allowed to extract and screen more than 1 million tonnes of rock a year.

"The annual rate of extraction is expected to fluctuate throughout the life of the quarry, which is generally a result of external forces, such as regional development, major infrastructure projects and the building and construction industry,” the application read.

"The imposition of a set limit to the annual extraction volumes is not practical or feasible, as operational flexibility is required to enable supply to project based activities and to respond to market demand.”

Barro Group believes Beerburrum is able to cope with an increase in heavy vehicle traffic.

"The township is accustomed to decades of heavy vehicle traffic travelling through the main street,” the application read.

It referenced the town's history as a depot for forestry and logging.

"By way of example, it is evident that the Beerburrum State School has also established a relationship with other industries that involve cartage and distribution of construction materials by bulk tip trucks and trailers travelling past the school.

"The school's main external notice board acknowledges these industries by displaying 'proudly supported by Readymix and Bassett Barks'.

"Barro Group propose to liaise with the Beerburrum State School, to build on this relationship and have an open communication process to monitor and optimise the behaviour of the quarry trucks travelling past the school.”

Barro Group Queensland general manager Ian Ridoutt said his company planned to put a caretaker's residence on the site to increase security.

It has been an apparent dumping ground over the years, with burnt car bodies and rubbish littering the area.

Mr Ridoutt said Barro Group had been operating in Queensland for 30 years but the Burrum Quarry was its first Sunshine Coast project.

"I can see the next five years being a very busy period in that area,” Mr Ridoutt said.

Topics:  beerburrum construction development quarry school sunshine coast town trucks

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