7 March 2019
The State Administrative Tribunal has approved a lime pit on Nullaki Peninsula land owned by property developer Grame Roberston.
The approval overturns the City of Albany’s decision last year to knock back the proposed lime pit. A similar proposal was rejected in 2007.
The Foundation attended community forums and made submissions against the development as the mine is located in a conservation zone and is close to the Nullaki Campsite. Some years ago the Track was realigned in the area after Mr Robertson constructed a 9km vermin-proof fence and wide firebreak on the boundary of the Nullaki estate. This not only destroyed the original alignment of the Track (which was on boardwalk) but put a huge scar on the landscape in what was previously a scenic area.
The BTF’s key concerns about the lime pit included:
- Proximity to the Nullaki Campsite – potential noise and dust impacts from mining operations.
- Noise and safety impacts of large trucks on the haul road. See the map image below.
- Proposal to extend Lee Road which will impact the new alignment of the Bibbulmun Track where it leaves the fence line and heads toward the Nullaki Campsite.
- The relative remoteness and undeveloped state of the Nullaki Peninsula makes it a natural asset that should be preserved for the benefit of future generations. A lime mine would be detrimental to the area and set a bad precedent for other development applications on the peninsula.
- Realignment of the Track and/or relocation of the Nullaki Campsite would be an extremely costly and difficult scenario. Finding a new location for the campsite equidistant from Denmark and West Cape Howe campsite that is scenic yet provides adequate shelter from the elements would be a challenge in itself. In addition to approval from the City of Albany; flora and fauna searches and aboriginal heritage approvals would be required for the campsite location and new track alignment. Major expenses would include building a new shelter and associated facilities as well as rehabilitation of the existing campsite location. The management and costs would primarily be the responsibility of DBCA's Parks and Wildlife Service which is already stretched for resources.
The full SAT report is available here. Key points in relation to impacts on the Bibbulmun Track include:
- The mine will operate for 10 weeks per annum during summer - between December and March.
- There will be 14 trucks per day, five days a week.
- Access will be via Lees, Brown and Lake Saide Road. It will then follow the vermin proof fence bordering approx. 400 metres of the Bibbulmun Track. The route will be sealed.
- The extraction area is approximately 400 metres from the Nullaki campsite. The SAT report states that noise and dust impacts will be within the most stringent limits required by the regulations.