Building a
sustainable future

Project overview

Maroochydore Sands is planning to develop a small wet screening and wash plant on a site off Maroochydore Road, where it will extract sand.

The sand will be suitable for use in concrete and also for other building and construction purposes. It will be supplied to the local building and construction industry.

This low-impact operation will be staged over several years, with just three direct employees initially and minimal infrastructure.

The project differs from a sand mine because sand will be extracted for construction purposes not for its mineral sands properties.

Sand will not be mechanically dried, dry screened or crushed by Maroochydore Sands. The sand remains wet through the screening and washing processes and poses no more safety risk than sand found at the beach.

The Sunshine Coast Regional Council and State Government agencies are currently considering the project, with a decision expected next year.

The plant will operate from 6am until 6pm Monday to Friday, while work on Saturday will be restricted to 6am until 12pm.

Expert health review

View the reviews conducted by environmental experts.

Health

The sand delivered will be as safe as sand on the beach

Maroochydore Sands will be a low-impact, extraction operation, where sand remains wet through the screening and washing processes.

The sand pumped and stored at the extraction facility poses no more risk than sand found at the beach or in a child’s sandpit.

The project differs from a sand mine because sand will be extracted for construction purposes – not for its mineral sands properties. Sand will not be mechanically dried, dry screened or crushed by Maroochydore Sands.

Dust

A low-impact development, with dust controls

Maroochydore Sands will be an extraction operation, where sand remains wet through the screening and washing processes – limiting dust.

Sand piles and other areas of the site will also be regularly dampened down with water to limit dust.

The revegetation plan for the site will help manage any residual dust issues, with exposed soil kept to a minimum thanks to ongoing rehabilitation work.

Delivery trucks on site will be limited to the 15km/h speed limit and drivers will be instructed to contain and cover loads before exiting through the gates.

Noise

A low-impact facility, with minimal noise

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.

No noise will be created before 6am or after 6pm Monday to Friday, while work on Saturday will be limited to 6am until 12pm.

Environment

Building a sustainable future

This is a low-impact development in an area that was cleared for farming several decades ago. It has been used to grow cane and, more recently, to graze cattle.

Respected environmental consultants Biodiversity Assessment and Management have identified small areas of higher-value habitat on the site and have advised that those areas will not be impacted by the proposed development.

No chemicals are involved in the sand processing, only water.

Like many coastal properties in Australia, the site we are proposing to develop has potential acid sulphate soils. Managing any issues associated with this is a top priority and experienced environmental consultants were engaged to develop a plan to address issues relating to acid sulphate soils. As part of this plan, we will avoid areas where potential acid sulphate soils are concentrated and focus on other areas of the site. Where we do come in contact with potential acid sulphate soils, we will limit the exposure to open air by pumping the material in and out of the sand pit to reduce the chance of the material becoming acidic. We will also be establishing ponds on the site, where the material can be treated and any acid sulphate soil that remains can be returned to the bottom of the sand pit – where it can do no harm. The ponds will be monitored 24 hours a day to ensure the water is safe.

By developing a sand resource close to the end market, the project will deliver a significant reduction in greenhouse emissions because delivery times will be cut by 98 per cent.

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

Flooding

Hydrology reports undertaken by experienced 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.

Economic

Delivering benefits for the Sunshine Coast

Maroochydore Sands will employ locals and use local contractors, including fitters and turners, truck drivers, electricians, plumbers, mechanics and diesel fitters.

By having a local supplier, Maroochydore concrete and construction companies will pay substantially less for sand because of the reduction in transport costs. As sand is a key component of concrete, new home owners and renovators will be beneficiaries of reduced sand prices from this development.

Visual

Low-impact project that will maintain amenity for locals

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.

The intention is to undertake rehabilitation work progressively, commencing soon after sand extraction begins. Rehabilitation work includes stabilising and revegetating the perimeter of the ponds.

The small areas of higher-value habitat on the site identified by environmental experts will not be impacted by the proposed development, with plans to protect and improve these zones.

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

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.