Although the recent judgment by the Planning and Environment Court refused Boral’s appeal (and thus its immediate prospects of developing a new quarry on the Gold Coast), Judge Jones made clear that none of the issues relating to aquatic ecology raised by Council’s consultants were impediments to the development of a quarry.
Through a combination of review work and fresh field survey, frc environmental’s Dr John Thorogood successfully demonstrated that the waterways to be lost to development were in essence typical of the region, that they were unlikely to support any species of conservation significance, that the proposed mitigation of impacts to environmental flows was adequate, that proposed setbacks were adequate to protect in-stream habitat, and that the development would in fact improve downstream ecosystem health.
In a matter characterised by an entire ‘school of red herrings’, Dr Thorogood’s thorough and objective analysis of issues cut through the hype.
The Court’s decision is considered by many to represent a ‘lose-lose’ outcome. Denying Boral the opportunity to develop the quarry, the Court none-the-less made clear that the site was suitable for the development of a quarry in some form in the future. Will Boral appeal? Watch this space.