Sand mine petition on way to Parliament 

A PETITION with 500 signatures opposing a new access way to a Williamtown sand mine will be presented to state Planning Minister Brad Hazzard Monday.

Port Stephens MP Craig Baumann is on his way to Parliament House in Sydney where he will hand over the petition.

Macka’s Sand, part owned by Port Stephens mayor Bruce MacKenzie, has applied to build a two-kilometre road over private land to access the mine.

About 500 residents have protested the new accessway off Nelson Bay Road via a public meeting and this latest petition.

The company estimates that eight trucks an hour would travel to and from the site during peak periods.

Residents who are opposed to the project believe the figure will be significantly higher.

They are also concerned about noise and environmental impact on nearby residents as well as significant indigenous artefacts located along the proposed route.

‘‘We want this petition to go to the Department of Planning now while they are still forming their position,’’ Medowie lawyer and campaigner Kate Washington said.

‘‘We will also write to emergency services and tourism operators about the impacts the increased traffic will have.’’

The Department of Planning, which is assessing the project, announced last month the project would be independently determined after it received more than 25 objections.

The Planning Assessment Commission will now rule on the proposal.

Coming off Nelson Bay Road between the Paul’s Corner and Williamtown roundabouts, the new entry would include a left-turning intersection off Nelson Bay Road and would result in an additional truck movements on Salt Ash roundabout.

Mr MacKenzie has maintained throughout the process that he respected the rights of those opposed to the project.

"Everyone is entitled to have their say," he says.




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