Bundaberg Sugar has applied to have its Fairymead sand quarry approval extended for another 10 years beyond 2021.
The sand quarry has been operating on land fronting Fairymead and Gooburrum Roads under a 10-year approval which expires in October next year.
The site, surrounded by rural and residential land, is largely used for agriculture with three approved areas for sand extraction.
The existing approval, issued in 2011, allows Bundaberg Sugar to extract between 100,000 and one million tonnes of sand per year.
The application outlines grounds to support the request and said the site was contained within the State Development Area.
“Based on the annual extraction volumes of the operation to date, a substantial portion of the known resource remains in-situ and the applicant is seeking to extend the expiry date of the development approval to ensure this identified resource is utilised,” the application said.
“The operation has an existing market and resource suitable for use in construction applications.
“Since the commencement of the operation, annual extraction volumes have not reached the allowable maximum rate.”
It said the availability of this resource locally could positively impact the affordability of construction materials in the region.
“Quarry materials are finite and rely on fortuitous geological events,” the application states.
“It is imperative that resources of State and regional significance are protected to maintain the long-term availability of extractive resources.
“Extractive industry materials are ‘high volume, low value’ products which must be located close to the markets that use them as the cost of transport makes up a large percentage of the overall delivered cost to the consumer.”
The application says independent operations such as the Bundaberg Sugar sand quarry provide market choice, employment and training.
“The continued operation of the sand quarry will provide competition, choice and other economic benefits to a wide cross-section of the community over a long term.”
According to the application, no other conditions of the existing approval would need to be altered to allow the Bundaberg Sugar sand quarry to continue until 2031.
“The operation has integrated well within the local community with a demonstrated compliance record, confirmed through annual third-party audits which are submitted to DES.”
The application is currently with Bundaberg Regional Council’s development group for assessment.