June 14, 2019
Five new quarries in the South Burnett will be hit with special rates and charges to help pay for the upkeep of nearby roads.
Councillors voted at Wednesday’s Council meeting to include the five quarries in separate Overall Plans under the provisions of Section 94 of the Local Government Regulation 2012, which empower councils to levy special rates and charges.
On Wednesday, Councillors voted to include five quarries – and the principal roads that service them – in Overall Plans.
The affected quarries are:
Councillors noted quarry trucks can cause significant damage to roads and the cost of repairing them was falling on the shoulders of all ratepayers.
The meeting head that as quarry operations were run for profit, and above-normal road damage was an outcome of their work, it was only fair quarries pay more towards road maintenance than other ratepayers.
Against this, other Councillors argued that putting an extra charge on new quarry operators would give existing operators an unfair cost advantage in the market.
Property Portfolio chair Cr Terry Fleischfresser said Council had decided to follow this course of action – rather than lift the rates that apply to all properties classified as quarries – because legally it was the best way to proceed.
The Overall Plans will impose the extra levy on the five quarries for 20 years.
All five quarries received extractive industry approvals between February 2018 and June 2019.