Independent NSW MLC and South Coast resident Justin Field has warned that the Dunmore and Minnamurra community will not be deterred following a recommendation by the NSW Planning Department that the Dunmore sand mine expansion “is in the public interest and is approvable, subject to the recommended conditions”.
The proposed expansion of Boral’s Dunmore sand mining operations was referred to the NSW Independent Planning Commission for decision on 22 September with a public meeting set down for 28 October.
The Planning Department’s Assessment Report notes that the project would clear “up to 7.5 hectares (ha) of native vegetation…. including 4.5 ha of Bangalay Sand Forest (BSF), which is a listed endangered ecological community (EEC) under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016” (p.x) and provides enough sand for just 3-4 years of extraction.
Independent NSW MLC Justin Field said, “The community have supported Boral’s existing operations at Dunmore but this expansion goes too far and they have got the community off-side.
“Sand mining right alongside the Minnamurra river and clearing critically endangered vegetation is totally unacceptable. It’s an environmental risk and will have a negative impact on the amenity of this beautiful area.
Mr Field has also criticised a leaflet (see attached) circulated by Boral to local residents about the project which suggested community concerns had been addressed by changes to the proposal.
“The proposal has not changed to reduce impacts on the local environment. This leaflet is at best a bit of corporate spin, but at worst just pure propaganda. The company’s response to public submissions clearly states that “As a result of the submissions received, no substantial changes have been necessary for the proposal to address specific comments, requests or concerns” (p16).
“This campaign has brought together everyone who cares about the river including environmentalists, fishers, members of the local communities, and regular visitors but Boral have just rejected community concerns out of hand.
Almost 5000 signatures were presented in a petition to State Parliament in 2019 following a rally of almost 1000 people who formed a human sign saying ‘NO Boral Sand Mine” on the Minnamurra headland.
Mr Field said, “The NSW Government should listen to the community and stop this expansion. This has to be the line in the sand for the Dunmore operations. They can’t keep moving closer to the river. They need to look for alternative sand resources if they want to keep mining sand in the region.
“This isn’t over. Anyone concerned about this inappropriate project should register to speak at the Public Meeting on 28 October and make a submission to the Planning Commission,” Mr Field said.