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Brisbane Region Environment Council

P O Box 479 Morningside 4170

Ph 07 39015577

Fax 07 38991953

TED FENSOM Ph 38011208H Fax 38064479

info@brec.ozecol.org

The Director General

DNRME

GPO Box 2454

Brisbane 4001

Fax


January 2005
BREC Submission on Queensland SPP Extractives


Dear Sir,

The Brisbane Region Environment Council (The Web Inc) wishes to contribute to better policy delivery, equitable procedures and better outcomes for the SPP Extractives in terms of Cultural Heritage, other public interests, public health and safety interests and Environmental interests

This organization is extremely concerned with many aspects of the lack of; appropriate policy development, regulation, guidelines and institutional arrangements. The truncated outcomes appear policy gap ridden, spatially confrontational and unsupported and unreferenced

The department has argued that the Draft SPP is purely for" the protection of Extractive Industry Resources" and for "protection from residential development" and does not presuppose the development of that resource. However in Section 6 of the Draft Policy clearly outlines that even before a Development application is lodged they must incorporate the KRA into their planning schemes, allocate uses to a KRA that are compatible with extractive industries and change their assessment codes. We reject the current draft SPP because the KRAs were determined by a secret and opaque process with little or no public or independent technical scrutiny. No detailed information is supplied about supporting material considered in the process for determining KRAs. A number of the proposed KRAs occur in areas of significant nature conservation values such as water supply, remnant vegetation, biodiversity, aquifers, wetlands, floodplains and wildlife corridors.

The lack of policy guidance in related areas, thresholds, triggers etc is substantial, when compared to those extant in the majority of existing State Interest Planning Policies, State Planning Policies, Guidelines and supporting information

This process conflicts with other state interests

Specifically it is very worrying how Key Resource Areas have expanded up to1 kilometre beyond the pits and proposed pits and beyond the freehold Quarry holding boundaries into conservation zoned areas, reserves and National Parks and, jumping Catchment and Local Authority Boundaries into freehold previously not designated in the RFGM 2001 —3 processes and other consultation processes.

Further it is indicated; in shedding DNRME responsibilities, how haul roads/transport corridors are S.P.P. designated but can be changed in a D.A. process or a" lot making process" pre empted in this draft SPP. This means amalgamation, boundary realignment, road dedication, easement or other instrument creation or many variations of resubdivision in surface or strata not subject to third party appeal can unacceptably occur. Further access can occur by purchase of an existing Lot or State Government Resumption

This represents a contradiction in Planning Certainties in Planning Schemes and the Draft Regional Plan and designated Water supply Catchment areas

The balance in dealing with public interests, a structured hierarchy of Environmental Interests, planning schemes, state Interests and Commonwealth Interests cannot be viewed as functioning or as being transparent

The Web wishes to know whether this draft is a function of the CEO Meeting process and how multiple public interests within the portfolio, were defended including Water and U/G Water, Vegetation and Acid Sulphate Soils?

The "Lack of Policy Outcome" aspects include

  1. Lack of consultation with Traditional Owners and Knowledge Holders and their subsequent loss of rights to riparian zones, rural roads, other Crown Lands and Cultural Landscapes and apparent abrogation of the Cultural Heritage Act.2004
  2. Lack of correlation with IPA Part 4 in terms of correlation of the objects of the Act including E.S.D
  3. Lack of transparency in dealing with other, State Policy Wetlands and State Interest Planning Policies, State Planning Policies:- Hazards, Good Quality Agricultural Land, A.S.S. and Koalas and the public interest
  4. .This is evidenced and lack of achievement of equitable mapped spatial and policy outcomes in the SPP mapping, calibrated against existing Biodiversity Mapping, Vegetation Mapping, Local Authority Information and A.S..S. Mapping

  5. Inability to implement more appropriate triggers and best practice amendments to IPA / IPOLA, Including rehabilitation ON THE 100 DESIGNATED SITES with 85 of those sites being existing sites
  6. Many of these sites are without any rehabilitation, adequate bonding, non economic payments to Local Authorities for Roads, with industrial sites, knocking down mountains, eliminating watercourses, and permitting works lit up like XMAS Trees 365 days a year. Other categories do not have current best practice licensing by EPA

  7. There exist other problems in cementing in 85 existing sites with extensions as state significance when there is no process for rectifying many of the existing problems of these sites. Frequency of trucks of trucks at 500 a day, or two a minute, noise, lights, flood plain extraction near rivers, barriers to koala and other fauna movement, lack of rehabilitation and bonding, vibration, disturbance of water tables and Acid Sulphate Soils. Many of these were approved before EPA licensing’
  8. This draft SPP further gives the Extractive Industries an upward revaluation of Billions of Dollars without an audit (see EPA Minister for the Environment Audit of 6 Redland Shire Quarries) or mitigation processes on 85 sites and hundreds of others not scoped but would fulfil criteria 1 for State Interests

  9. The Silo policy in dealing with Institutional Arrangements under the RFGM 2001 / Draft Regional Plan is apparent. This includes failure to deliver EPBC triggers, disclosure of Bilateral Agreements and apparent failure to deliver transparent interactions with other State Interests and Local Authorities (R.S.C.)
  10. Mitigation and rehabilitation

    On Sippy Creek (Meridian Plains) which require water flow and quarantining from adjoining land uses and bentonite walls installation to protect ecosystem and flood plain values

    It is noted that many resource areas on maps previously circulate were left off the current KRA maps and others extended. This leaves little leadership for Local Authorities for model policies and EIS Triggers. Does this mean they have no more state interest or some will go to DSD and Act of Parliament and the remainder go local? It appears Super Quarries, Master plan Quarries and Moreton Bay Extractives warrant significant project status and disclosure of BILATERALS with the Commonwealth.

    It was heartening to see the department criticize in stream mining in the Logan River as third world status.

    9 Public Interest Outcomes.

    The workshops advanced certain terms which do not appear in the GLOSSARY or predicated into regulation and actions in the SPP. The term OFFSETS was used without usable examples or a set of principles. EQUAL AREAS was mentioned as a potential offset

    Acknowledgement of BAMM and principles of NO NET LOSS (of Habitat) were made in the SPP Workshop but there is nothing in the SPP

    So there is little policy or spatial trade off observable in the SPP for a range of Public Goods ameliorating the existing and potential negative impacts to watersheds air sheds, view sheds, noise sheds ground vibration sheds, or compensating community facilities. Rehabilitation of existing Moonscapes or retention of equivalent REMNANT VEGETATION, BIOREGIONAL CORRIDORS and lesser ecological corridors have not been advanced.

    Public Interest Tests

    This relates to part G of the OUM Regional Plan

     

    SPECIFIC SITES

    Greater Mt Cotton Area. KRAs 71 & 72

    The expansion of KRAs since 2001/2 into Rural Residential/Rural, National Parks and Reserves

    Restrictions/barriers in existing and future Koala Movement on a catchment basis at Karremans (Avalon Road to West Mt Cotton Road part of the Tingalpa Creek Catchment) and much wider front at BARRO / Bayview Country Club (Mt Cotton Village) with about 160 Ha bushland to go residential is unacceptable in the centre of the Koala Coast.

    The inroads made into greater Mt Cotton area require immediate creation of a N.R.S. National Park and Conservation Parks rehabilitation of the Bioregional Corridor The basis of such initiatives is

    A result of ambit claims for extractives outside one D.A.

    B. the number of endangered regional ecosystems and areas of State

    Bioregional Importance and Core Koala Habitat and Koala connectors that can be cleared and otherwise marginalized by

     

    The decrease of the size of 2 new pit sites to give adequate buffers to adjoining freehold and reserves is imperative and provision of fauna proof fencing

    MERIDIAN PLAINS

    This contains Sippy Creek and other riparian linkages to Mooloolah National Park and Endangered Regional ecosystems.

    Sippy Creek riparian zone has a variety of Ecosystems and ecotones containing Endangered Plants and Endangered Fauna and ICON Invertebrate species dependent on surface and underground waters.

    The creek needs a buffer of 300 metres and a bentonite wall in dealing with cane land Agricultural drains and proposed deep dredging.

    This area had continual loss of Endangered Plants and Endangered Regional Ecosystem and requires EPBC notification

    Such a project is of significant project status but should not get Bilaterals delegation

    Jacobs Well

    This area has had extensive drilling for A.S.S. and extensive hydrology work. Also there is a case study on wildcat sandmining killing mangroves in adjoining Conservation Park. Adjoining areas have Endangered Fauna eg False Water Rat, Endangered Heath species and Endangered Regional Ecosystems. There is overriding evidence to reduce the scale of this diffracted resource area it requires Federal E.I.S.

    PART 2 of the POLICY Application of the policy

    2(1)

    In Appendix 3 of the Guideline it describes the five attributes of criteria only one of the criteria is needed to be reached for acceptance as a Key Resource Area. It appears numerous areas and existing pits in subregions would have more than a years supply of the particular resource Appendix 3 A3.1 (1). These have not been scoped to be included in the 100 sites in the Guideline

    2(2) Contents of a Key Resource Area

    These are described but do not split extraction (resource) area and processing areas These should be split as they are generally two different operations with different deleterious impacts, different outputs, different energy uses, different licensing issues and multiply dangerous end products of; tailings dams, water filled pits dangerously sited in flood plains or hard rock quarries near streams and tidal waters.

    Large questions arise about proven extents of some deposits and proposed pits. Other verification of deposits outside the KRAs suggests there are hidden criteria being applied to pick future pits and KRA Boundaries.

    State Government should not confer (blue chip) rights to unproven reserves surface water and underground water when impacts to water supply catchments, koala coast primary areas, HCV and adjoining freehold is at risk

    The benefit in predicating ancillary uses in separation zone is an unacceptable advantage to proponents and over lands not owned by Quarry masters. An inner core separation area should go to ancillary uses and the outer separation area operate as a true buffer

    Further problems arise with transport corridors being specified by the SPP but able to be changed by Development Application, or purchase of a lot or easement without a veto by main roads or Local Authority.

    This leaves rural communities defenceless against the SPP which has no checks and balances whereas other SPPs. Have mitigating clauses or processes.

    3. (1) Development to which Policy refers

    This appears to miss several other forms of development

    A. Resumption for ROADS, power, water pipeline etc.

    B. Consent Use under IPA

    C. Code

    D. Home Uses to freehold owners now encapsulated by KRA zone.

    4 Matters Outside Scope of this Policy

    "This policy does not confer development approval for extractives" but forces Local Authorities to replicate the Draft SPP in planning schemes without 3rd party appeal or public interest test.

    But this SPP overrides other state interests as evidenced in; site layouts, field inspections and examining state data bases and CNCCS Bioregional Corridors.

    Most Local Authorities do not have a suite of Planning Instruments dealing with SPP Extractives or new and existing Local Quarries.

    5 Outcomes sought by the Policy

    This clause fails to include The Environment Protection Act, The Nature Conservation Act, Bilaterals or EPBC Act The inadequacies of the Integrated Planning Act in roll back of Environmental Impact Assessment and EIS Triggers and removal of Prohibited Uses Schedules are perpetuated and multiplied in this S.P.P. This clause states "the long term availability of extractive resource in Key Resource Areas is maintained through Planning and Assessment"

    It is not adequately explained how future KRAs will be dedicated as a large number of local (unscoped by the SPP) pits would qualify under criteria 1 to become KRA s

    This SPP is an ambit spatial and administrative claim filling a policy vacuum that has not had adequate policy sieve calibrated against environment, health and safety, cultural heritage issues and a spectrum of competing public interests not compatible with (or sympathetic to perceived primacy of the) extractives.

    There appears to be some discrimination against smaller or unproven reserves in this draft SPP scenario.

    There is little indication how extensive reserves in the sunshine coast, coastal and sandstone sand masses and Logan river valley and valley walls and Moreton Bay have fallen off the scoping horizon from resource mapping 3 years ago

    The ability of the Government to specify future extractive areas without

    Consultation and without adequate drilling or drilling at all, and in conflict with other state policy and accumulated on and offsite impacts is not good policy or transparent policy

    PART 4 MAKING OR AMENDING A PLANNING SCHEME

    6(1) (a)

    This KRA incorporation into Planning Scheme represents a unilateral action without third party appeal.

    Does the Local Authority have to survey the KRA Zoning line on residents’ properties??? and destroy HCV vegetation in delineating the extents?

     

    POLICY GUIDELINE

    2 .1 The purposes of the Integrated Planning Act e.g. E.S.D. and DEOs and other Features of existing Planning Schemes and Plans in Preparation do not appear to be taken into consideration given the spatial extents of future pits, future processing and KRAs in the Policy Maps/

    The dot point 3 should include

    "The Minister designating land for Ecological Infrastructure and Catchment Purposes and Water Extraction Purposes."

    The Basis for this includes

    2.2 The Application of the Policy for use in 47 sites in SEQ has different constraints compared to the rest of the state re Regional Plan, CNCCS, SPP1/97 and Local Authority Biodiversity Strategies

     

    2.3 "This Policy applies until it is appropriately reflected in the relevant Planning Scheme."

    Under the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s Policy Handbook there are Economic parameters for options, and criteria for good policy content

    These funds don’t apparently extend to Local Authorities and there are issues, which detrimentally affect Local Authorities in altering Strategic Plans, Town Plans, Town Planning Policies, Local Law Equivalents, and Development Control Manuals. Transport Plans etc without cost recovery. That is ratepayers have to fund these arguably invalid and inequitable S.P.P. changes without

    And run against Council Policy

     

    2.4 Key Resource Area Definitions

    Resource and processing areas should be split based on site specific differing impacts separation areas should be split for buffer areas and ancillary uses.

    Transport Routes are contentious issues which impact on entry to dedicated road systems. This policy unilaterally consolidates unacceptable existing impacts on and off site

    There are other definitions and definitions relating to the policy vacuums which are not mentioned or delineated. These include

      1. ‘…. CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO IDENTIFYING OTHER STATE planning policies AND PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO IDENTIFYING OTHER state INTERESTS "
      2. This does not appear to have been adequately carried through on Meridian Plains Jacobs Well and Mt Cotton

      3. " Development to which policy applies "
      4. This clause has omitted Consent Use and CODE.

        The lack of mention of Preferred Dominant Land Use

        The lack of mention of several layers of licensing as development assessment, mainly that of EPA, is a manipulation of the facts.

        The SPP ignores the complexity of the interactions between planning schemes and the environmental protection act licensing process which should be addressed by the policy.

         

      5. Meaning of Use and Lots
      6. This creates further contradictions in Subdivision Land Law in that under nearly all cases except some Crown Issues all lots need legal access, which remains unclear in about half the sites, especially those having multiple pits. This may be overcome with a lease document. Further does the lot or haul road become a public road to the pit head or just the ancillary use area?

        There are other ways of statutory metes and bounds description or public registers of extents of operations

        However this requires guidelines on what constitutes the pit extents, perimeter roads fauna exclusion fences or nets, as these quarries and super quarries are set to decimate region, subregional and local bioregional corridors as well as natural flora regeneration.

        The resource pits /processing areas cross a range of easements, dedicated roads, crown land creeks and unmapped creeks, areas protected by Development Control Plans etc. which are not reported in the guideline.

        The costly Resolution of these issues falls back on EPA, Local Authorities, downstream Riparian owners, other branches of DNRME and residents.

         

         

        Meaning of Use and Lots Continued

        The use of lots remains contentious as haul roads /transportation corridors can be done as a sale or reconfiguration of a lot which is not subject to third party objection.

        The phraseology and concepts in 2.7 do not correlate with other forms of land development or public expectations of how development should perform.

        Quoting "It is the results of development —a use or a lot — and their compatibility with the extraction, processing and transportation of extractive materials that determines whether the policy outcome is achieved"

        This concept runs against the purposes of the Act and ESD

        This misses several basic steps in the "Need to protect extractive resources"

        The steps missed are State Interests, Local Authority Requirements, Public Interest Tests, Community Interests and Best Practice Environmental Impact Assessment which does not exist in Queensland

        It also misses a major test of market forces.

        There are obviously other unproven resources

      7. Part 5 of the Policy relates to compatibility of a use or a lot with extractive components.

    It is obvious that Part 5 should calibrate instead the extractive uses and their impacts against existing Land Uses, State Interests and Legislation as well as Local Authority Interests.

    The inability of EPA and other agencies to protect other State Interests or truncate extents of the advance of some quarries suggests problems in the advice given at Crown Law, Parliamentary Draftsmen Department of Local Government and Planning, and Policy Area in Premiers Department.

    Yours Sincerely

    Edward Fensom


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