Locals cheer win against quarry

Nowergup residents celebrate Environment Minister Albert Jacob’s decision to dismiss PMR Quarries’ appeal for a land-clearing permit for a limestone quarry.
Nowergup residents celebrate Environment Minister Albert Jacob’s decision to dismiss PMR Quarries’ appeal for a land-clearing permit for a limestone quarry.

After the Department of Environment and Conservation decided last year not to approve a clearing permit application from PMR Quarries, which trades as WA Limestone, the company appealed to the Appeals Convenor.

On Tuesday, May 21, Environment Minister Albert Jacob announced his decision to dismiss the appeal regarding the property on the corner of Nowergup Road and Wanneroo Road.

‘After considering the issues raised in the appeal, I formed the view that the decision of the DEC to refuse to grant a clearing permit to PMR Quarries to clear 6.7 hectares of native vegetation in Nowergup was justified and I dismissed the appeal,’ Mr Jacob said.

‘I have also written to the Planning Minister encouraging him to continue to pursue a land exchange option that is palatable to all parties.’

Lake Nowergup Carabooda Valley Community Group spokeswoman Sabine Winton welcomed the news on the 1437th day of campaigns against extractive industries close to the lake.

‘I’m pretty pleased about it (and) I would be hopeful that this might be the end of it,’ she said. ‘The DEC obviously has thought very carefully about this proposal and deemed it environmentally unacceptable.

‘WA Limestone’s WAPC approval has lapsed, their planning approval with the City of Wanneroo has lapsed and they still have no Federal Environmental approval to proceed.’

WA Limestone surveyor Denis Hill said the company was disappointed.

‘The critical shortage of limestone and other construction materials in proximity to the Perth metropolitan area is recognised at all levels of government, with our site currently specifically identified as containing a limestone resource of state significance,’ he said.

‘WA Limestone remains confident that when the State Strategic Assessment of development and resource requirements for the Perth and Peel regions is completed that the limestone resource will be developed.’

Mr Hill said they were confident an agreement would then be reached that balanced the community’s need for the limestone to be taken and the protection of the environment.

A potential land swap between the State Government and WA Limestone was first suggested in early 2011.

Ms Winton said residents had received plenty of support, particularly from environmental groups such as the Urban Bushland Council.