The ‘long drop’ toilets at Bungonia are more a curiosity to visitors and the need for modern facilities and an improved park is pressing, says the village’s Progress Association president.
That’s just one of the projects the village is hoping to pursue under a Voluntary Planning Agreement between Multiquip Quarries and the council.
The agreement, which will be placed on public exhibition for four weeks, sets out road maintenance obligations by the company. They are tied to the company’s bid to increase production at its Oallen Ford Road quarry from 400,000 to 580,000 tonnes per annum. An application, to be decided by the Independent Planning Commission, is before the State Government.
The VPA calls for Multiquip to contribute 3.85 cents/tonne/kilometre, indexed by inflation, to the council for its haul route. This covers 3.43km of Oallen Ford Road to Bungonia, a 300 metre section of Mountain Ash Road to Jerrara Road and 14.6km of Jerrara Road to Marulan South Road.
The amount is more than the 3.74c/tonne/km the company proposed but less than the 4.62c/t/km usually imposed. However the agreement imposes other obligations, including:
- Multiquip will rehabilitate pavement where it is shown to be less than 10 years old, before transport operations begin;
- The company will fund and complete resealing of half the haul route, either in-kind or financially, before transport starts;
- The council will fund and re-seal the other half;
- The council will commission a road safety audit after roadworks have been completed, with Multiquip to address any safety issues;
- Multiquip will fund and complete structural assessment of bridges and culverts on the route before transport operations begin.
The company also initially proposed that 10 per cent of section 94 road contributions be placed into a community fund for local projects as part of the VPA. But the council at its most recent meeting preferred a separate fund, managed by a committee, that could be modelled on that of other quarries in the area.
Progress Association president Bill Dobbie said he favoured a fund that was tied to road levies because the amount would increase as quarry production rose.
“There are advantages in that because rather than having a one-off contribution, it can be of long-term benefit. We don’t want a situation where virtually nothing is going into it,” he said.
But he believed the community could work with what was ultimately decided.
Mr Dobbie said the Association wanted money spent on the park. The toilets had been condemned and as a result, the park had been shut to caravans. A new toilet block, modern children’s playground and undercover barbecue were also needed. In addition, “derelict” tennis courts needed to be removed.
“We could spend all of the money in the park for the next few years and everyone would benefit, including all the visitors,” he said.
The Association previously applied for money for a toilet block under the NSW Community Fund for the toilets but missed out.
Mr Dobbie said Multiquip had spent $30,000 on painting for the village hall, money which the Progress Association could never have afforded.
The company’s managing director Steve Mikosic said he’d work with the council on whatever funding model was adopted and would continue to liaise with the community on projects.
“We want to be part of the community and I can’t see any reason why we wouldn’t get involved,” he said.
He said Multiquip had completed designated roadworks but some minor sections still had to be finished.
Road re-sheeting will be undertaken in March.
‘We’re getting a lot of positive comments from the community in regard to the improved safety of the road, which is nice to hear,” Mr Mikosic said.
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