Boral is blaming a lack of rail infrastructure for a push to dump road transport limits from its Dunmore quarry, for an extra 220 truck movements per day.
But the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has said there are “clear environmental benefits” to minimising road transport in favour of rail, in terms of air quality and noise impacts.
The quarry produces 1.5 million tonnes per year, with a maximum of 320 truck movements per day (160 loads), 24 hours a day.
Boral wants to expand to the extraction limit of 2.5Mtpa, all to be trucked by road – up to 540 movements a day.
Owing to “unprecedented demand” for construction materials in Sydney, rail capacity was “currently being fully utilised” by output from its other quarry near Marulan, and its terminals at Maldon, Enfield and St Peters were full.
“Until new rail terminal options for Dunmore can be identified, Boral needs to be able to despatch products via road to ensure the future construction requirements in the Greater Sydney region, which relies heavily on Dunmore Quarry products, are met,” Boral said in its environmental assessment for the Major Projects planning process.
“In essence, Boral is currently not able to rail large volumes of product from the quarry to Sydney.”
In essence, Boral is currently not able to rail large volumes of product from the quarry to SydneyBoral's environmental assessment
Transport for NSW disputed Boral’s claim, saying there was “available rail freight capacity on the Illawarra Line between Dunmore and Sydney”. TfNSW told Boral it should do a full review of options to see how it could maximise the use of rail.
The EPA has asked Boral to look further at alternatives to trucks, and told the Department of Planning and Environment the Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan (2015) and the NSW Freight and Ports Plan (2018-2013) call for more freight on rail, addressing pressure on roads.
Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has said if the trucking limit were to be removed, this should have an expiry date.
Boral’s traffic assessment says the impact would be “generally confined to the morning peak hour traffic periods”
Boral is considering the agencies’ responses.
The quarry employs about 30 people, plus 10 truck drivers for deliveries.