19/10/2021 - 15:23

Quarry expansion in EPA’s hands

19/10/2021 - 15:23

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The environmental watchdog is assessing a proposal to clear 14 hectares of environmentally sensitive land in Neerabup that would extend the life of one of Perth’s largest sand quarries by 15 years.

Quarry expansion in EPA’s hands
The Borrello family plans to expand its quarry to the 14 hectare area within the red boundary.

The environmental watchdog is assessing a proposal to clear 14  hectares of environmentally sensitive land in Neerabup that would extend the life of one of Perth’s largest sand quarries by 15 years. 

The Borrello family, who runs sand quarry Carramar Resource Industries, intends to clear 14 hectares of land next to its quarry, 40km north of Perth.

The land sits on a 22 hectare property the state government classed as Bush Forever land, meaning it has significance to the biodiversity of the region.

The family has submitted a proposal to subdivide the land into two lots of 14 hectares and eight hectares, leaving the latter site as bushland.

This week, the Environmental Protection Authority announced it would assess the proposal, after concerns were raised about the impact on native flora and fauna as well as impacts from greenhouse gas emissions.

An assessment will examine whether the red-tailed black cockatoo inhabits the area, after the threatened species was identified as likely to occur within a 5km buffer of the site.

The EPA stated that the “proposal raises complex preliminary key environmental factors” and detailed assessment was required to determine the extent of the proposal’s impacts.

Frank Borrello owns the land and manages the licensing issues associated with the development through his property and land tenure consultancy Complex Land Solutions.

He said the family had owned that parcel of land since 1975 and it was formerly zoned as industrial.

“The resource under the land (being) high grade brickies’ and plasterers’ sand is much more valuable than the bushland,” he said.

“It has been proven that the sand resource is much more scarce than the Bush Forever.”

Frank Borrello said the family had cleared several approval hurdles for the subdivision, including the WA Planning Commission, and had commissioned several environmental assessments on the site.

“We have done numerous environmental studies on the property and now we are at a crossroads where the EPA is making a decision on whether we can clear part of the land,” he said.

“We said to the government ‘if you allow us to clear that land, we’ll give back eight hectares’.”

“By allowing us to mine that 14 hectares, it will supply us with another 15 years of sand in WA.”

The family’s current mine has up to six years of life left and the family had invested about $500,000 trying to prepare the site for site.

Frank Borello also consults for Thomson Geer Lawyers, where his son Mark Borrello is managing partner.

Frank’s brother Charlie Borrello is sole director of Carramar Resource Industries, which employs 25 people.

National firm Thomson Geer acquired Perth’s LSV Borrello in mid-2019, a decade after the Borello family established the firm.

The EPA is expected to take up to 16 weeks to make a decision on the proposal. 

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