Kin Kin Quarry

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Background

The quarry was approved by Council in July 1987 subject to conditions.

Under the planning legislation there is no ability for this approval to be revoked or changed (without the owners’ agreement), with the approval valid until 12 May 2033. 

The conditions require the quarry to operate in accordance with an approved Quarry Management Plan (QMP), which includes a number of requirements that address on site operations, including stormwater management and traffic management.

While the conditions do identify the approved extraction footprint for the quarry, the conditions do not include an annual extraction limit or restrict the number of trucks permitted on the haul route.

For a comprehensive background of the Kin Kin quarry, see Frequently Asked Questions below.

To change the approval for the quarry, would require an application to be made by the land owner and the operator (Cordwells) to Council.  The process to change the quarry approval is regulated by the Planning Act 2016, state legislation, with the land use rights afforded by the approval protected by this Act.  This means new planning requirements and/or state legislation such as the new koala conservation protections for South East Queensland do not apply.

Quarry Operating Hours

The permitted operating hours are 6am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 7am to 5pm Saturday, with trucks not to be loaded outside the approved operating hours or leave the site full after operating hours.

Haul Route

The QMP requires that the main haulage route for the quarry is Kin Kin – Pomona Road which is state controlled road, though Dr Pages Road and other local roads may be used for local deliveries.  This haulage route was identified in the original application to Council and has been reflected in subsequent approved QMPs.  To change the haul route would require a development application to be lodged with Council.  Such an application would be subject to public consultation with the community including residents along any proposed new haul route. 

What are the Quarry Management Plan traffic management requirements?

  • Trucks must not arrive at the quarry site prior to the approved operating hours;
  • Departures from the quarry site are to be staggered with a minimum gap of five minutes between trucks;
  • Where trucks encounter other heavy vehicles, the minimum separation distance between heavy vehicles is to be approximately 60m but with greater separation distances recommended for drivers;
  • When approaching the quarry site, drivers are to maintain a minimum separation distance of 300m to avoid causing queuing at the quarry entry;
  • To assist in maintaining these separation distances, drivers should communicate with other drivers on UHF Channel;
  • Truck drivers are not to overtake other vehicles;
  • The quarry operator is to seek to minimise truck movements by rescheduling product deliveries from the site and discouraging unnecessary truck movements, during school bus hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Speeding, and non-compliance of road rules along the road network must be reported to the police, as these issues are matters for the police to investigate and address.  The police have been actioning complaints where the owner of the truck can be identified – vehicle registration number.

    • Both Council and the local state member have been advocating for some time for the Kin Kin Pomona road to be upgraded, as it is recognised that the quarry operations are significantly impacting on other road users and residents along this route.
    • Local police have been asked to monitor the road and driver behavior and have issued a number of fines for traffic infringements.
    • Council has written to Cordwells and all the trucking companies using the quarry advising them of the QMP traffic management requirements and warned them that infringements will be issued for breaches.
    • A camera and traffic counter has been installed on Sheppersons Road for surveillance and monitoring purposes to ensure Cordwells and truck drivers are adhering to the quarry management plan requirements. Infringements are being issued to Cordwells for breaches identified. Any evidenced non-compliance is being enforced.

    • Regular inspections are undertaken of the quarry operations by Council officers, with joint inspections with officers from the state’s Department of Environment also conducted from time to time. 

    • An annual audit of the quarry operations is also undertaken by an external independent auditor specialised in stormwater management, with Cordwells required to reimburse Council’s costs for this audit.  
    • Council have previously issued notices/infringements to the quarry operators on a number of occasions for breaches of the approval and are continuing to actively monitor the quarry and take compliance action.
    • Council has formally written to the Department of Transport and Main Roads calling for the department to investigate the Pomona-Kin Kin Road and identify what works can be done to improve the safety of this state-controlled road.
    • Council is currently seeking a legal opinion from a Barrister on what actions Council may be able to take to stop/minimise the impacts from the quarry operations on road users and residents.
  • A round table has been established by Council with Sandy Bolton, representatives from three hinterland community groups, Queensland Police Service, Department of Transport and Main Roads representatives, councillors, and council officers.

    The round table is intended to provide a forum to identify issues arising from the quarry operations and work together to identify potential solutions.

  • This state department is responsible for the safety and health requirements for quarry workers, including explosive safety.  It is important to clarify that this department has no jurisdiction outside the boundaries of the quarry site.

  • The quarry has approval from this department for an Environmentally Relevant Activity (ERA). The ERA permits up to 1,000,000 tonnes to be extracted annually and primarily regulates potential environmental impacts from the quarry operations such as ensuring appropriate stormwater management measures are in place to address the quantity and quality of water runoff from the quarry site.

  • Complaints relating to haulage vehicles and quarry operations can be made in the following way:

    1. In normal business hours, by phoning the Quarry Manager, Martin Cordwell on 5446 7204;
    2. If outside normal business hours or the nominated person is not available:
      1. Phone the Group Quarry Manager, Martin Cordwell on 5446 7204;
      2. Send an email to the Complaints Desk at office@cordwells.com.au, or
      3. Writing a letter to the quarry:

    Cordwell Resources
    27 Gloucester Rd, BUDERIM QLD 4556

    Persons making the complaint must:

    1. Be prepared to give their name and a contact phone number;
    2. Indicate the place and time of the event which necessitated them making a complaint and if possible the registration number of the unit involved;
    3. Give sufficient detail of the event to allow enquiries to be made. The company, on receiving a complaint relating to product haulage from Cordwell’s quarry site, will ensure that:
      1. the complainant will be contacted no later than the next business day following the complaint being received;
      2. details of the complaint will be recorded on a standard form labelled "Record for Complaints";
      3. each complaint will be immediately investigated;
      4. complainants will be advised as soon as possible of the result of the investigation;
      5. in any case a verbal response will be provided within 3 business days from contacting the complainant.

    A full record of all complaints and actions taken is required to be maintained by the company.

  • Quarry first approved in 1987

    The quarry was approved by Council in July 1987, subject to conditions.  The approval was for 3 years and made provision for subsequent extensions of the approval by Council.  It was also subject to some roadwork requirements and included the requirement for a Management Plan to be lodged with Council.

    The applicant appealed Council’s decision, with the Local Government Court issuing a Court Order in May 1988 reducing the extent of roadworks required and giving an operating life of 30 years.  In terms of road improvements, the conditions of approval required:

    • upgrading of the intersection of Sheppersons Lane and Kin Kin Road;
    • upgrading of the existing timber bridge within Sheppersons Lane; and
    • the widening and upgrading of Sheppersons Lane from intersection with Kin Kin Road to the access point to the site.

    These road upgrade works were subsequently undertaken by the former Noosa Council, around the time Noosa Council had a lease over the quarry site. Notably, the requirement to upgrade the intersection of Sheppersons Lane with Kin Kin Road was a requirement of the Main Roads Department at the time, as Council’s Shire Engineer sought their advice in relation to the application as part of the assessment.

    The conditions of approval also require the performance of regular maintenance of roadworks within Sheppersons Lane, including the removal of any materials which may fall from vehicles transporting quarry materials. 

    The conditions do not include an annual tonnage limit on excavation, but do require the quarry to operate in accordance with a Management Plan addressing location of siltation ponds, the extent of proposed excavations, access, location of crusher and office, buffers to adjoining properties boundaries and rehabilitation procedures. In 1991, a Management Plan for Ready Mix was approved.

    Extension to Term of Quarry

    In 2003, Council extended the term of the quarry until 12 May 2033, subject to conditions. These conditions required the submission of an updated Management Plan. In 2005, an updated Management Plan by the Neilsen Group was approved by Council. It identified a similar quarry footprint to the 1991 Management Plan, with the quarry to be quarried from the top down.

    First Breach Action

    In September 2010, officers issued a Show Cause Notice to the operators, requiring that the conditions of the development approval be complied with.  At the time, there was significant community concern over the operations of the quarry, and inspections indicated that the quarry was not being operated in accordance with the approved Neilsen Group Management Plan. The operators challenged Council’s Show Cause Notice and, due to the non-specificity of the 2005 Management Plan, Council could not proceed further with this action.

    Amended QMP lodged

    In December 2011, an amended Management Plan was submitted by the quarry operator, seeking to commence quarrying at the bottom of the hill and then proceed to the hilltop and quarry down.  This Management Plan provided a greater amount of detail to that contained in the previously approved Management Plan for the site, but maintained a degree of flexibility in relation to the operation, recognising that quarry operations are an evolving process affected by the nature of the extracted resource and market demand for material.

    Kin Kin Community Group Action

    In October 2010, the Kin Kin Community Group contested the quarry approval, asking the Planning & Environment Court:

    • Whether the town planning consent approval given by Noosa Shire Council in 1987 was lawfully given;
    • Was the order made by the Local Government Court on 13 May 1988, allowing the appeal against some conditions to which the Noosa Shire Council subjected its approval and varying conditions, made within jurisdiction;
    • In the event the approval of the Council was lawfully given and the Court’s orders were within its jurisdiction, did the town planning consent approval lapse; and
    • In the event the approval has not lapsed, is use of the site for quarry purposes for extractive industry, limited to the area and scale of development particularised in the application for town planning consent and the town planning consent limited only until 2018.

    The judge dismissed all of the Group's claims in December 2010.

    Environmental Protection Order Issued

    In early 2011, the Department of Environment and Resource Management issued an Environmental Protection Order to the operators of the quarry through their Environmentally Relevant Activity permit. The Environmental Protection Order specified that no further material was to be extracted from the quarry on a commercial basis until a number of steps had been undertaken, including the implementation of appropriate stormwater management measures.  In January 2012, the Department of Environment and Resource Management informed the applicant that the Department was satisfied all actions had been completed regarding the Environmental Protection Order, and all activities must be undertaken in accordance with the Environmentally Relevant Activity permit.

    The Environmentally Relevant Activity Permit allows for the extraction of up to 1,000,000 tonnes a year.  In March 2014 the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection revised the water management conditions over the previous environmental licence. 

    Approval of Amended QMP

    In July 2012, the Sunshine Coast Regional Council resolved to approve, in part, the amended Quarry Management Plan for the initial quarry development phase, given a feasible Stormwater Management Plan was only included for that phase.  This meant that the Management Plan will be required to be further updated in the future and approved by Council before further quarrying stages proceeded.  The Council also requested a number of amendments to be made to the Management Plan.  

    At its Ordinary Meeting on 23 May 2013 Council considered further amendments to the Quarry Management Plan and resolved again to approve the plan in part, subject to 8 amendments being made to the Management Plan.

    At its Ordinary Meeting on 19 September 2013 Council considered a further amendment to the Quarry Management Plan in relation to the haul route, with Council maintaining the previously approved haul route.

    Breach Action in 2014-2016

    In late 2014 complaints were received that the quarry operators had blasted the lower foothill area (’the finger’), which is predominantly outside of the approved short term development area footprint and in part outside the long term approved footprint of the excavation area.  The matter was reported to Council and an application to the Planning & Environment Court was subsequently lodged.  The application sought orders from the Court that excavation is not permitted outside the approved excavation footprint and that works undertaken outside the approved footprint were in breach of the approval. 

    During the course of Council’s application to the P&E court, the quarry operators also made an application to the P&E Court to change the quarry approval and incorporate a new management plan into the conditions of approval.  The changes sought to consolidate all the approvals, including the Extension to Term of Approval into one document for ease of reference and delete, amend existing conditions and include additional requirements. A new condition to comply with the management was of significant benefit to the Council with respect to its enforcement obligations and future dealings with the quarry operators.  It overcame a flaw in the original approval which undermined the Council’s ability to enforce the QMP or effectively regulate the quarry’s operations, removing the uncertainty.  It also meant future changes to the QMP must also be by way of a statutory development application process. 

    The amended QMP also provided for an annual audit to be undertaken of the quarry by an independent specialist on behalf of Council but paid for by the operators.  Council consequently resolved to not continue with their application, and settle the operator’s application to the court.  A Deed of Agreement was also entered into to pay Council’s costs in the matter and payment of $30,000 to an appropriate land management fund.

    Since then officers have undertaken regular inspections of the quarry activities as workload permits.

    Breach Action in early 2020

    In early 2020, after a large rain event, complaints were received from residents that dirty water was coming from the quarry site.  Inspection by officers and the state found a significant breach, with the quarry operator extending the excavation area without first extending the necessary stormwater management controls.  The operators were issued an Enforcement Notice and infringement notice by officers.  The operators have since complied with all actions required by the Enforcement Notice and the fine will be collected through SPER.