The Ardmore Park quarry is a continuing saga that never seems to reach a satisfactory conclusion.
The Bungonia and district community and Multiquip Quarries have been battling each other since 2005 when the company lodged its original development application. The village’s Progress Association president Bill Dobbie aptly described it as a “100 year war,” one that he doesn’t want to continue.
The only way that will happen is if Multiquip holds up its end of the bargain, fully delivering on road upgrade obligations on the haul route.
Work is underway on Oallen Ford (pictured) and Jerrara Roads but there’s some way to go yet. Residents have had to be the monitors and indeed have complained to the council about the quality of the upgrade, required under the State’s consent conditions. We are aware that the council has insisted that some works be rectified before the company goes further.
These obligations have unfortunately been an ongoing source of contention, from the amount of road contributions to when they were delivered. It’s important to remember that firstly the council and then the State Government refused the original DA because there was no adequate haul route.
Since then it has a been a back and forth tussle between Multiquip, the council and residents. The council needs to be firm in policing State consent conditions. These are the very obligations for which they lobbied.
In the past it has shown resolve, joining with residents in the company’s appeal against a Land and Environment Court refusal. We hope now it is not conflicted by the fact it has a gravel supply contract shared between Multiquip, Denrith Pty Ltd and Gunlake Pty Ltd. The combined agreement is worth $7 million.
The council was also seriously embarrassed last year when it was discovered that Multiquip was supplying gravel for road works in the Bungonia district under a council contract but was breaching consent conditions in the process.
We will watch with interest the council’s response to the company’s request in its current application to enter into a voluntary planning agreement, rather than paying section 94 road contributions. Presumably, gravel supply for the work is part of the offset.
Jerrara Road is heavily trafficked and at times, dangerous. Residents’ safety must come first.