COUNCIL DECISION SET TO COST COMMUNITY MILLIONS

Barro Group General Manager.

The decision by Redland City Council to ignore the advice and recommendations of its own Council Officers and vote down the proposed Mount Cotton Quarry extension has now set the scene for a legal battle which could cost each man, woman and child in Redland City approximately $20 each.

Barro Group has commenced legal appeal action to the Council decision which is set to be at least a $ 1.5 million dollar legal stouch.

That’s a lot of pot holes filled, playgrounds fixed, and probably a curbside waste pickup that now can’t happen because the money will go to legal costs says For a Council to lock itself into a court case at a time when it is struggling with budgets and to lock out a project that can make repairing and maintaining roads and infrastructure cheaper for them in the long run makes, well, no economic sense.

Avoiding unnecessary, protracted, sure to lose legal action was a key platform that this Council campaigned heavily on in the run up to the last election. Redlands might be open for business but it just got a whole lot dearer to build anything here.

I am very disappointed in the Councillors’ decision to play the politics.

Many of them told me they would prefer that the matter be decided by the State Government. They said that they understood the need for the Quarry, and they have praised us for our diligence, focus on environmental issues, in particular Koala habitats, our efforts with dust and noise reduction, but said they were voting the proposal down because they feared political backlash from the small group of protestors.

The need for the project within Redland City, Logan City and indeed South East Queensland is beyond question. The State Government has listed the area as a Key Resource Area, the project carries State significance.

Redland and Logan Cities will need a staggering 350 million tonnes of extractive material over the next half century. It equates to the use of about 11 tonnes per person per year across the two cities. More than ten times the amount of food a person requires each year.

The need is obvious and Councillors agree. The environmental and economic benefits as outlined in Council’s own report, are obvious.

These further delays to the project are also a loss to the City.

The project, which will see the extension of the 1960’s operation into a 21 st century approach, has been developed with community input and set to become a bench mark for extractive industries into the future.

The Mount Cotton Quarry Extension Project is about ensuring an ecological sustainable solution for the future. It is about providing the built environment we must have, and ensuring the wider environmental focus we need and demand.

And let’s be very clear here. The handful of protestors might have scared off the Council but they’ll face a hard time of it in Court if they persist with peddling mis-information. At least we, as a community, will now see the Courts sift the rubbish from the facts.

Redland ratepayers are now on the solicitor’s cash clock, and again, will now have to dig deep to fill the pockets of legal firms, just so Councillors didn’t have to make an obvious decision.

It’s an odd position from a City that claims to be open for business. Business and development in Redlands just got a lot harder and a whole lot more expensive”