Gunlake Quarry cannot rely on the State Government coming to the party at this stage on a strategic solution to its transport problems.
For now that’s a pie in the sky idea and instead, the company must address the immediate issue. All the road upgrades in the world will not remove the fact that it wants a maximum 590 trucks a day to carry hard rock from its Brayton Road quarry to the Sydney market.
That’s unreasonable, a recipe for disaster and an example of poor planning. Like Holcim and Boral, it has a duty to the community and itself to come up with a better solution, and that must be rail.
Whether it’s unaffordable for the company is beside the point and certainly not the community’s fault. Company managing director Ed O’Neil says he’ll try again to gain approval either through a modification or an appeal to the NSW Land and Environment Court.
He argued that authorities should consider the wider impact, not just the eight or so residents along Brayton road where the expansion would have “less effect.”
But Brayton Road is a heavily trafficked thoroughfare, including by a school bus.
Planning authorities should hold firm on this point. Thankfully the Planning Assessment Commission saw the sense and overrode the NSW Planning Department, which recommended conditional approval. There must be no concessions that undermine public safety.
It makes economic sense to develop a strategic response to the transport of bulk product from this area.
But it’s not likely to happen anytime soon.
Bungonia goes ahead
The Bungonia columbarium is a great example of a small village taking the initiative to better its lot.
Residents scrambled, saved and pitched in to bring this great project to fruition. It will give people who want to be cremated peace of mind that they can be interred in the area they live and which they hold dear. At the same time, the wall will acknowledge a rich history that started in the 1830s.
In recent days we have also heard of The Goulburn Group’s initiative to install free Wi-Fi at Towrang, extending the service available in this city.
These small centres are often forgotten in the funding stakes but they can teach us a thing or two about community collaboration. Do yourself a favour and get out to Bungonia this Saturday.