City of Kwinana stands with residents to oppose sand mine

The group shot at the City of Kwinana's meeting on Wednesday night. Photo: Duncan Dodd.
The group shot at the City of Kwinana's meeting on Wednesday night. Photo: Duncan Dodd.

THE City of Kwinana stood by residents opposed to a sand mine in their backyards at its meeting on August 8.

Mayor Carol Adams, councillors and residents joined together at the meeting for a group photo in a show of opposition to the mine proposed by Hanson Construction Materials Pty Ltd (previously ROCLA).

The company had gained approval for the mine at Lots 53 and 1320 Banksia Road Wellard, without the knowledge of the City or residents, in 2016 from the Barnett State Government.

The land in question has been under City control for the purposes of conservation and a report tendered to councillors at the meeting stated:

“Sand mining at this site has been opposed by the City for over 10 years.

“Hanson Construction is now seeking to clear 16.25ha of very good to excellent condition Banksia Woodland, now listed as Endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

“City Officers have reviewed the Preliminary Documentation available as part of the Public Notice and have prepared a submission to the Commonwealth Government strongly opposing the clearing of native vegetation for the purposes of the mining operation for council’s consideration.

“If approval is granted under the EPBC Act, the City will be limited in its ability to prevent implementation of the mining proposal.”

President of the Casuarina Wellard Progress Association Steve Sturgeon said the mine would also introduce unacceptable health risks.

“Hanson Australia is pushing ahead with a proposed sand mine in Wellard, despite strong objections by the City of Kwinana and local residents about the environmental damage it will cause,” he said.

“We are deeply concerned there will be considerable silica dust – the new asbestos.”

A Hanson spokeswoman said the company was going through a thorough and comprehensive assessment process for the proposed project to produce sand for construction projects in Perth’s southern suburbs.

“We have State environmental approval and we are now seeking Federal Government endorsement to go ahead with the project. The plan involves complete rehabilitation of the site,” she said.

“The natural top soil and flora seeds will be replaced on disturbed sections of land to return the area to a \[Martin Turner\]Bbanksia woodland as the mining is complete.”

The spokeswoman said the company had some of the world’s best expertise in this type of rehabilitation.
“In this case, the work will have the added advantage of cleaning up lead contamination from the historic use of the area as a rifle range,” she said.

“The community will be directly involved in monitoring to make sure the site is fully restored.”

Hanson released a proposal for clearing of the site for public comment that closes on August 10.

It can be viewed at the Kwinana Public Library or at www.pgv.net.au.

Written submissions can be posted to PGV Environmental, Unit 1, 61 Guthrie Street, Osborne Park, WA 6017.

Mayor Carol Adams is urging residents to have their say and voice opposition to the proposal.