Millmerran Sand Quarry near Toowoomba. A sand and gravel quarry is now likely to be built on Etna Creek Rd.
Millmerran Sand Quarry near Toowoomba. A sand and gravel quarry is now likely to be built on Etna Creek Rd. Contributed

Sand quarry approved as concerns resolved after 3 years

A SAND and gravel quarry on Etna Creek Rd has finally been approved by Livingstone Shire Council after three years and significant road safety concerns.

The 1,524ha site sits along a gravel, flood-prone road currently used as a breeding facility for 1200 head of cattle.

The proposal raised fears among local residents that their road would be further damaged and become a safety risk.

"Not one person doesn't want this to go ahead, there are just concerns about heavy vehicles on the road," Cr Glenda Mather told Tuesday's council meeting.

"Residents need our guarantee their interests are protected in being able to get in and out of the only access to that pocket of land."

In 2015, Belmont Sands Pty Ltd applied for a material change of use over the land to extract, process and transport between 100,000 - 1million tonnes of sand and gravel a year.

With 36-tonne capacity trucks with dog trailers intended to transport the material, the development could not be approved without significant upgrade to the road.

Over three years, several proposals were put forward and at Tuesday's meeting, Cr Mather commended Belmont Sands for "recognising their first application may not have been the best".

The haul route runs from the site at 887 Etna Creek Rd to the Bruce Highway.

Conditions that Cr Jan Kelly said need to be recognised and accepted by the developer, including constructing a road suitable for traffic generated while the quarry operates at its maximum extraction rate.

The design, built to a minimum width of 8m with a minimum sealed width of 6.5m, must include pavement work, cross drains and roadside drainage.

On-site sewage treatment and disposal must be provided and conditions to reduce adverse impacts from traffic, noise and dust were imposed.

Residents Jeff and Julie Leaver were initially "horrified" at the proposal but yesterday Mr Leaver said as long as the conditions were met, most of their concerns about the road had been addressed.

"That's all we're concerned about," he said.

"But they could still negotiate a variation to the conditions or appeal...we'll be watching closely."