Here You Can Have your Say
Have you say about how the proposed lime quarry will impact of your lifestyle, business, property values and health and safety. You can email submissions directly to us (the multimedia team) for inclusion on this page using this email address: info@
Submissions published on this page reflect the independent views of the contributor and not necessarily those of the Nullaki Community Action Group.
Approval has been given for a total of 8 hectares for the extraction activities not just 3 hectares although only 3 will be extracted at a given time. I assume that if the 11 lots rejected by WAPC because of fire regulations still have the potential for development. In addition to the extraction site clearing of native vegetation will need to take place to widen existing roads and to link Lee road to the site for haulage. This will be an additional hectare to be cleared. The extension of Lee Road could require the removal of a stand of large Banksia trees which are a feeding habitat for the threatened black cockatoos. There are also several mature Marri trees alongside the planned haulage route which I assume will need to be cleared for road widening again a valuable food source for a threatened species. This vegetation will be cleared permanently, a loss of valuable habitat. Locals regularly see big flocks of cockatoos in the area. This is just one of the pleasures of living in a rural areas and many are concerned about the impact this development will have on the fauna. The endangered ring tail possum has also seen in the locality. I would like to question if this development is environmentally acceptable as believed by the developer. The regulations for a conservation zone require that any activity in that zone enhances and protects the values of that zone and does not have negative social impacts. Removing native vegetation does not enhance or protect it and it is clear that many local residents will have their peaceful lived disturbed. This is not a win win situation. There are many losers.
I am grieving for the life change that's being forced upon me in near future, to live on a 7 km haulage road to the Lower Denmark Road and sharing it daily with 28 trucks 6 days a week for 20 years. These trucks filled with lime will be travelling the Great Southern from Graeme Robertson's lime-pit situated on the Nullaki. Walking photography, exercising my two dogs twice daily and sitting watching the birds on the wetlands. are simple pleasures that will be gone forever. The lime quarry owner and proponent Graham Robertson quotes "The road will become safer for all users including local residents and any visitor traffic"
As a resident of Lee Road in Youngs Siding for 28 years I enjoy the tree lined gravel roads. Now I will be forced to walk, cycle and drive on a new haulage road along side trucks, trailers and road trains loaded with lime destined for the great Southern totalling 28 trucks a day, six days a week. This is mockery. A lime Pit business operating inside a conservation area. The haul road will impact on endangered black cockatoos, nesting black swans and long necked turtles in the wetlands only three metres from the roadside. Clearing of trees and shrubs along the roadside in a beautiful, peaceful environment where hobby farms, holiday accommodation and large family blocks are now established is a travesty as nature and the wildlife is the reason we are here.
A quote by Graeme Robertson:
The road will become safer for all users including local residents and any visitor traffic…..
I am writing to you in response to the letter received 21 January Ref. A200151 LT19177885.
I would like to express my, and my families, disappointment with the decision of the SAT to over-rule the wishes of local residents concerning this development.
The operation of the lime pit is not what concerns me, but rather the construction of a heavy haulage route through not only a nature reserve, but a narrow local country road.
I believe that alternative routes should be reconsidered in this development. Eden road would be the perfect for this mine development, with less work required to bring it up to standard. I would think that if planning approval can be given to construct a road through a nature reserve, it would not be to much of stretch to re-designate Eden Rd to allow for heavy haulage.
In the advent that the proposed heavy haulage route will be constructed along Lake Saide Rd, I would expect that state road guidelines are followed.
Most concerning is Section 14 (d) of the letter sent, which states "Lake Saide Road SLK 3.85 - 5.55 - widen to 5.8m with isolated narrow points."
As there is no information on these "Isolated narrow points", I am concerned, given the nature of this approval, that the vagueness of this condition is what amounts to a green light to cut corners and not construct this haulage road to state regulations.
According to main roads specifications (https://www.mainroads.wa.gov.au/BuildingRoads/StandardsTechnical/RoadandTrafficEngineering/GuidetoRoadDesign/Pages/MRWA_Supplement_to_Austroads_Guide_to_Road_Design___Part_3.aspx) the minimum lane width for heavy haulage is 3.5m with a recommended 1m sealed shoulder. Even without the shoulder construction, this would dictate a minimum road width of 7m.
Because of the operating hours granted being throughout the Christmas school holidays, the high volume of children, cyclist and horse riders that use this road would need to be considered in the construction of this haulage road. A suitable safe dual use lane should be installed to minimize the risk of heavy trucks impacting on the safety of other road users.
I would hope that the Lake Saide Road up grade will not be viewed as a purpose built haul road, whose sole use is for the convenience of the running of Mr. Graham Robertson's business interests. It must be remembered that families live and operate on these roads and have the right to feel safe when travelling to and from home. We, the local rate payers that are being impacted, should have our concerns met, not ignored in favor of one individual.
Could you please provide further information regarding the legality of the proposed road dimensions, clarification on what constitutes a "narrow point", the proposed locations of said narrow points and the controls that would be put in place to ensure the safety of ALL road users.
I look forward to hearing back from you on these matters.
A poem from Beau
'Bout a place round the corner from mine
Where they're gunna cut down the Karri
For a road to an old lime mine
The council twice voted against it
Like six votes to sixty nine
But a rich man circumvents it
And defeats the people each time
This arm of the law is a long one
They tell us it will all be just fine
But they've scarcely set foot on the land
Where the rare Cockatoos decline
Well old mate built a pest fence
Guess conservation was big at the time
Sure I'm just the little guy whining
And old mate's no friend of mine
But it's not really about the mining
Its not even about the lime
It's about finding out that a vote has no clout
When democracy comes down to the line
And all I can think while I dwell on the brink
Of sleep to find peace of mind
Is of the dust & the noise & the curious stink
That I dread I may soon come to find
At that place round the corner
Where there's heaps of good fauna
Near that spot where the Bibbulmun winds.
Letter to Editor
The Nullaki community is reeling from the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) decision to set aside a unanimous ruling from the Elected Members of the City of Albany and allows a mining operation in a pristine wilderness reserve that is zoned as conservation. In a press release the proponent claimed this is a win win situation. He obviously has no idea or does not care about the fear and stress this has caused to local residents many who have lived in the area for much of their lives.
The Nullaki Wilderness Reserve is a biodiversity hot spot and is home to a diverse and important range of flora and fauna as well as the iconic Bibulman Track and an overnight stay hut which is close to the proposed stock piling area.
In 2001 the Youngs Siding community supported the establishment of the Nullaki Conservation Reserve based on environmental commitments made by the Developer. These blocks were heavily marketed based on the pristine natural environment and sold to a diverse range of residents attracted by the calm and peaceful lifestyle.
In 2010 the Developer applied for the establishment of the lime pit with the proposed transport route along an already established sealed road in the reserve itself. This was unanimously rejected by The City of Albany and there was no SAT appeal. Instead the Developer reapplied in 2017 with an alternative transport route, this time along narrow tree lined gravel roads that are part of our community's heritage and the reason many of us purchased property within a quiet rural cul de sac. The vast majority of these trees will be cleared to widen the roads to accomodate up to 14 road train movements a day during summer months over 20 years.
The SAT ruling is not subject to third party appeal and it is our understanding that WA is one of the few states that does not allow third party appeals in planning matters.
The ruling does raise a number of natural justice questions which are unlikely to be considered due to the lack of appeal rights including
_How can any reasonable person consider that a mining operation is consistent with a Conservation Zoning in a pristine wilderness reserve?
_Why are commercial interests more important than community amenity and lifestyle
_How can a 2 person tribunal based in Perth who have visited our area once for a single day and never spoken to any affected residents understand the lives and aspirations of a close knit rural community? Why do government agencies and institutions continually lack empathy towards the people and communities they are supposed to serve?
On behalf of the Nullaki Community Action Group
Questions Arising From The SAT 2019 Ruling
Document Reference: SAT Ruling pages 3 and 4 Cases referenced in decisions
While the cases referenced in the decision provide examples of successful SAT appeals none of the cases referenced appear to provide a clear precedent for a mining operation in a Conservation Zone
With the lack of a clear precedent how can this ruling ignore the 2 unanimous votes of the local Council the advice of the Department of Planning and 69 of 75 submissions received on the matter
Document Reference: Objectives of Conservation Zone 1
The purpose of CZ1 is to:
- a) Protect, enhance and rehabilitate the flora, fauna and landscape qualities of the Nullaki Peninsula;
- b) Provide for controlled public access to the Wilson Inlet Foreshore and Anvil Beach; and
- c) Provide for limited wilderness retreat subdivision in a manner that is compatible with the conservation values of the Nullaki Peninsula.
How is it fair and reasonable to rule that a mining operation is consistent with any of these objectives?
Doc Ref: Development Application for an Extractive Industries Licence
Pages 9-10 Planning Framework covering City of Albany Local Planning Scheme No1 Variations to Site and Development Standards and Requirements
Clause 5.2.2 in considering an application for planning approval under this clause, where in the opinion of the Local Government, the variation is likely to affect any owners or occupiers in the general locality or adjoining the site which is subject of consideration, the Local Government is to:
- Consult the affected Parties by following one or more of the provisions for advertising uses pursuant to clause 9.4; and
- Have regard to any expressed views prior to making it’s determination to grant the variation.
Clause 5.2.3 The power in this clause may be exercised if the local government is satisfied that;
- Approval of the proposed development would be appropriate having regard to the criteria set out in clause 10.2; and
- The non-compliance will not have an adverse effect upon the occupiers or users of the development, the inhabitants of the locality or the likely future development of the locality.
Why were these clauses not considered or referenced in the SAT ruling?How can the SAT ruling be valid when it has caused such pain and mental anguish to the inhabitants (people) of the locality (our community) and fails to meet Clauses 5.2.2 and 5.2.3 of the City of Albany Local Planning Scheme No1 Variations to Site and Development Standards and Requirements?
Given the clear intent of these clauses how can a 2 person panel based in Perth overrule a unanimous decision from our Elected Members when they have never meet us?
Document Reference: Excavation-Rehabilitation Plan submitted by the proponent
Clause 2.6 Fauna, confirms that a fauna study was not conducted
The extension of Lee Road will impact a row of large banksia trees which are a feeding habitat for the threatened Carnaby’s Cockatoo. There are also several mature marri trees alongside the planned haulage route which will need to be cleared for road widening again a valuable food source for a threatened species. This vegetation will be cleared permanently, a loss of valuable habitat. Locals regularly see big flocks of cockatoos in the area. This is just one of the pleasures of living in a rural areas and we are concerned about the impact this development will have on the fauna.
A recent survey conducted by the Nullaki Conservation Group led by local fauna ecologist Sandra Gilfillian and her assistant Kirsty Vogel identified a diverse range of mammals and reptiles. The survey gives the group hope of finding the critically endangered Western Ringtail Possum when they go out spotlighting at night.
Source; Albany Advertiser article dated 1 February 2019
Will the natural habitat for the endangered Carnaby’s Cockatoo alongside the proposed Lee Rd extension be sent for EPBC Act Referral to the Department of the Environment and Energy?
Will the transport route and surrounds be independently assessed by the EPA for rare and threatened flora and fauna?
Clause 2.7 Wetlands, states that there are no nearby wetlands.
In fact there are wetlands immediately adjacent to Lee Rd on Lot 2766 and Lot 2548 and on Unallocated Crown Land (UCL) between Lee Road and Shapland Rd. There was a boardwalk across this wetland that was part of the Bibulmun Track. When the eastern boundary road was constructed the boardwalk was replaced with a causeway.
Will the transport route and surrounds be independently assessed by the EPA for wetlands as defined in the Inland Waters guideline?
Clause 4.9 Transport Corridors states there appears to be two dwellings near the sealed section of Lake Saide Road with a further two to three dwellings along the gravel section of the road network with only one close to the road.
In fact there are nine dwellings along the gravel section of the road network and five on the sealed section, all of whom will be suffer an adverse effect every time a haulage truck drives by.
Figure 2 in the proponent’s application indicates the nearest dwelling is 2.4km's from the Pit.
In fact the nearest dwelling is less than half that distance on Lee Rd right where the road extension will begin. This property belongs to an elderly couple who have lived there for many years. This decision has had a traumatic effect on them.
Question ArisingWill the transport route be referred to the EPA to be assessed against the Social Surroundings criteria?
Will the transport route be referred to Main Roads to be professionally assessed against all technical standards associated with a heavy haulage route?
Document Reference: City of Albany letter dated 21st January 2019 sent to residents which states;
The City of Albany also separately progressed a scheme amendment with the State Government which would have prohibited the land use within the Conservation zone. Unfortunately the Scheme Amendment was not endorsed by the Minister for Planning in time and accordingly was given little weight in the SAT considerations.
Clause 31of the SAT ruling confirmed that the Council adopted Amendment 29 on 27th March 2018 and submitted it to the Commission and ultimately to the Minister for Planning (Minister) for the approval of the Minister under s 87(1) of the PD Act.
What caused this delay to the signing of a standard omnibus amendment? When will it be considered? Given the clear intent of the Amendment and our Elected Members why was it given no weight in SAT deliberations?
Letter to Editor 2
In response to the proponents recent letter and press release our community understands there are commercial benefits in mining agricultural lime. The reason we are so determined to fight this ruling is the impact it will have on our pristine natural environment and the down to earth rural people who make up our community.
We care about the abundant flora and fauna species that call the Nullaki their home.
We care about the tourists who walk the iconic Bibulman Track to experience the beauty and serenity of our region.
We care about the elderly couple on Lee Rd at the entrance of the haulage route extension who have enjoyed their peaceful rural setting for many years.
We care about the musician and his family who will endure noise and dust firstly as trucks pass the guest cottage on Lee Road, then as they brake and take a tight turn onto Browns Rd and again as they accelerate past their family home.
We care about the families who purchased lifestyle blocks on a beautiful rural cul de sac and will now have to endure a heavy transport route where their children and grandchildren currently ride bikes and horses.
We care about the 3 farming families on the gravel section of Lake Saide Rd with 2 of them building their family homes around 20 metres from what they thought would always be a quiet rural road. Their gardens which include a magnificent Olive Grove are immaculate. As a result of this ruling they are faced with a heavy haulage route and their homes and gardens will be even further exposed to dust, wind and noise when the trees required to widen the road are cleared.
We care about a recent arrival to the Nullaki who was told when purchasing the property that the mining development was not going ahead.
We care about the Blueberry Farm couple who have grave concerns about the potential for airborne lime to ruin their crops because of the prevailing winds.
We care about all the residents on the Nullaki who were sold an idyllic lifestyle in a pristine wilderness reserve which will now be mined by the very person who had the area zoned Conservation and sold them their dream.
Yes we are a community that cares and this gives us the strength and determination to fight a mining development that puts commercial interests above our people and the pristine environment we should all be allowed to enjoy in peace. The Nullaki is far too beautiful to mine.
On Behalf of the Nullaki Community Action Group
Letter From Angela and Andrew Dickinson
I am writing in reply to Graeme Robertson’s letter again about the lime pit in the Nullaki peninsula.
- I am not sure why he thinks that people are under the illusion that the lime pit will be situated on Eden Road. To the majority it is clear that it will be in land zoned for conservation on the Nullaki peninsula.
- The access route will be sealed at his cost but there are many local residents that would prefer not to see close to 200 trees removed to do the upgrades needed along these narrow gravel roads. We all know that vehicles travelling on gravel roads generate dust. The SAT conditions do not require an upgrade to bitumen until the second year of excavations.
- The SAT conditions which I am sure the proponent is familiar with also state 14 laden trucks a day. Surely un-laden trucks will be returning for a refill! That is a total of 28 trucks a day. The SAT conditions also allow trucks on a Saturday. That is six days a week not five.
- The locals already enjoy a quiet road even though it is not sealed. If we can hear the swell from our property on Eden Road I am sure we will hear the excavations. Noise will be generated along the haulage route by the trucks. These will pass in some cases less than 50m from people houses
- I am sure Mr Robertson is aware that 92% of the submissions when the proposal was put out for public comment were opposing the mine, many of them because of the disruption to people’s quiet lifestyles.
- I doubt many of the residents living along the haulage route will be congratulating Mr Robertson. The reverse is probably more accurate!
- Another inaccuracy on the proponent’s behalf is the map in his proposal submitted to the City of Albany showing the surrounding land use. The route of the Bibbulmen Track shown on the map is inaccurate. The realignment of the Lee Road through the public reserve as proposed to SAT will actually cross the Bibbulmen Track and will pass close to the hut, which was also not included on the map. It is also likely that the stock pile area will be seen from the Bibbulmen Track. Walkers on the Biibulmen Track are often hoping for a wilderness experience. Will this be possible with mine haulage trucks passing by?
- In a previous letter the proponent states that the proposal to develop the final 11 lots was rejected by WAPC. So why does the proponent keep referring to the impacts form developing lots that have not as yet been approved?
Well that deals with all of those inaccuracies. We do believe in clarity!
In addition, a big thank you to those who supported the Nullaki Community Action Group’s awareness/ music event held at the Young’s Siding hall last Sunday. We were overwhelmed by the number of people that attended making the night a real success. Your support is really valued by the community.
Angela and Andrew Dickinson, informed active members of the Nullaki Community Action Group
Posts From Angela And Andrew
letter to minister