DUST WORRIES: Living Valley Springs staff on the quarry entrance road.
DUST WORRIES: Living Valley Springs staff on the quarry entrance road. Geoff Potter

Road upgrade is ‘bulldozed’

AN UPGRADE to Sheppersons Lane, which is to be used as the main quarry truck exit route from the Neilsen Group quarry at Kin Kin, is not planned under a new Noosa Council.

At last Thursday's general council meeting, councillors, without dissent, resolved not to proceed with any further planning activities for the upgrade to a bitumen surface.

But the council will monitor the condition and usage of Sheppersons Lane, while "noting that current operating conditions for the quarry operator require the performance of regular maintenance of roadworks within Sheppersons Lane".

Councillor Tony Welling

ton inserted this amended clause regarding the road monitoring "as part of the ongoing management of the Noosa Council gravel road network".

"The problem I found was, that (wording) could be interpreted to mean all responsibility for the road maintenance falls to council under the gravel roads program - there's a certain ambiguity in the wording.

"Therefore I'm recommending a motion that now makes it clear that responsibility for the maintenance of the lane, which will potentially be impacted by quarry trucks, falls upon the quarry operator, as that occurs as per the conditions of the approval," he said.

Sunshine Coast Council staff two years ago recommended accepting an offer to upgrade the entrance road to the quarry for dust and safety reasons.

Coast ratepayers were to have paid about $500,000, with Neilsen paying for the other half of the costs for work on the 1545m long, 8m wide road. However, the Coast councillors deferred the decision, pending the return of the new Noosa Council.

Cr Wellington last week noted that Cr Sandy Bolton had voiced her concerns about the dust impacts on local business Living Valley Springs Retreat at the end of Sheppersons Lane.

"I'm sure we're all concerned about those sort of issues.

"However, it's worth pointing out that Gary Martin, the owner of retreat, has voiced his strong opposition to having council, i.e. ratepayers, pay for the sealing of Sheppersons Lane.

"We don't yet have any indication when the quarry might be operating to full capacity. And plainly, that will depend on whether they get contracts.

"The most recent information on the site - council was informed were expected to generate 30 truckloads of material. It's somewhat presumptuous of us to be concerned about the dust issue, when we don't know whether there is going to be a dust issue."

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