Posted January 30, 2019
Footprint: The proposed Bobs Farm sand mine. Ammos Resource Management wants to extract 750,000 tonnes of sand per year over 15 years. More than 3500 people have signed on online petition opposing the mine.
A $5 million eco-cabin project at Bobs Farm has been put on hold until the fate of a sand mining proposal on adjoining land is known.
Ammos Resource Management wants to extract and process 750,000 tonnes of sand per year, or 10 million tonnes in total, over 15 years at a site off Marsh Road.
The mine, the size of 37 football fields, was first floated in 2014 but withdrawn due to strong community opposition.
A revised version of the project went on public exhibition late last year. Submissions close on Friday February 1.
Andrew Tindall gained approval in 2014 to build 20 eco-cabins and a miniature animal farm on land he owns adjoining the proposed mine site.
He had just spent $500,000 on a road upgrade and was about about to start construction on the cabins when he learned second hand about the revised sand mine proposal late last year.
“Only a lunatic would build an eco-retreat next to a sand mine. I’d be a fool to waste any more money on it,” he said.
Bobs Farm sand mine
Mr Tindall said he was staggered to read in the sand mine’s environmental impact statement that “there are no known or approved or planned new intensive activities in the area”.
In addition to the eco-cabin project, the popular Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters is also located nearby.
“Its bloody hard to believe this has happened, but even harder to believe that so many professional consultants would forget to check with the adjoining landholders how a mine this size could affect them,” Mr Tindall said.
Ammos Resource Management could not be contacted.
A community petition opposing the mine has attracted more than 3500 signatures.
Opponents of the mine have raised concerns about the impact of 180 truck movements a day on Nelson Bay Road, the impact dredging 15 metres below sea level and the loss of sensitive habitat.
However, the company argues the extraction of high quality silica sand deposits in the area will benefit of the wider Hunter economy.
Mine opponent and Port Stephens MP Kate Washington said the potential impact of the mine on existing businesses and residents needed to be given a high priority in the assessment process.
“It’s ironic that the sand mine proposal could see an eco-tourism venture shelved by a non-ecofriendly sand mine. I know what residents would prefer to see go ahead,” she said.
Submissions about proposal can be made online at http://majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au
Source: The Newcastle Herald