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Q&As

Are there any health risks associated with the project?

There are no health risks because the sand will not be mechanically dried, dry screened or crushed, and will remain wet through the screening and washing process. The sand is no more dangerous than the sand you would find at the beach or in a childrens’ sandpit.

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Will the project have a negative impact on the environment?

The proposed development is located on land that was cleared for farming several decades ago. This is a low-impact development and there will be hardly any visible activity from the road once trees and shrubs have grown. Rehabilitation work is due to kick off early in the development timeline, with a focus on limiting the environmental impact of the project right from the start.

When the project comes to an end, in years to come, the only likely evidence will be lakes left on site.

Are there any chemicals involved?

There are no chemicals involved in the sand processing, only water.

How will the project impact on flooding in the area?

Hydrology reports undertaken by environmental consultants Water Technology show the project will have no adverse impacts on the surrounding residential properties in terms of flooding. In fact, modelling shows the ponds created within the development could actually reduce flooding by storing water during extreme rainfall events.

Will there be any issues with dust from the project?

The potential for dust is low because the sand stays wet during extraction and processing. There are plans to keep the sand piles and other areas of the site wet by regularly dampening them down with water.

Trucks will not be allowed to travel more than 15km/h on the site and will be required to cover their loads prior to leaving.

What will the economic impact of the project be?

Maroochydore Sands will be employing locals and using local contractors, including fitters and turners, truck drivers, electricians, plumbers, mechanics and diesel fitters

Maroochydore concrete and construction companies will pay substantially less for sand, a crucial component of building projects, if the project goes ahead thanks to reduced transport costs. Maroochydore Sands expects most of its direct customers to be located about 1.5km away.

How will the project impact on the site?

This is a low-impact project and there is a focus on ongoing rehabilitation work during the life of the project.

Native trees and shrubs will be planted around the site to ensure sand-extraction activity is screened along Maroochydore Road.

Rehabilitation work includes stabilisation and revegetation work around the perimeter of the ponds.

When the project comes to an end, in years to come, the only likely evidence will be lakes left on site.

The end use of the site will be decided by the land holder, which is not Maroochydore Sands.

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Will traffic increase on local roads near the project?

There will be an increased number of trucks on two roads near the project.

Deliveries will be scheduled outside peak traffic times, to limit the impact of the development.

Discussions with the Department of Main Roads are continuing in the hope of further limiting the impact of the project in regards to local roads.

More broadly, the Maroochydore Sands project will reduce traffic and increase safety because sand deliveries are currently coming from near Bribie Island, along the Bruce Highway.

Will the project be noisy?

Maroochydore Sands will be a low-impact, extraction facility, with minimal noise. Sand will not be blasted or crushed. Noise from the heavy equipment will be cut by exhaust silencers and other acoustic devices, which will also be used to reduced noise from the pump and dredge.

The Pike Street intersection will not be used to deliver sand but trucks returning to Maroochydore Sands may use it on their return to the site. Discussions with the Department of Main Roads are continuing in the hope of resolving transport issues. Deliveries will be scheduled outside of peak traffic times, to limit the impact of the development.

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What consultation was done with the local community?

Extensive community consultation was conducted, which included establishing a hotline, organising a community open day and an additional meeting.

We were mindful of the fact that the public consultation period fell within the school holidays, so we proactively extended the deadline for submissions by five business days to allow as many people as possible to find out about the proposal and give their feedback.

We are committed to continuing to liaise with the community to ensure the project is well understood and community views are considered.

How long will the extraction last?

This will be determined by the demand for sand in the area but the life span of the development is expected to be 30 years. The estimated 30-year lifespan of this project is based on production levels averaging 150,000 tonnes a year.

What will the annual production be?

Supply of sand will be market driven and will go up and down on an annual basis. The upper limit will be 300,000 tonnes annually.

Why does the planning application say one million tonnes?

The State Government issues a license to operate in the band of 100,000 to 1,000,000 tonnes – but this does not mean that 1,000,000 tonnes annually can be extracted from the site. We will be restricted by the 300,000 tonne limit.