Williamtown sand mine approved after Independent Planning Commission finds it won't contribute to spread of RAAF contamination

THE STATE's Independent Planning Commission has given the final tick of approval for a controversial new sand quarry on Cabbage Tree Road, at Williamtown.

In its decision handed down on Wednesday, the commission found there was no evidence the mine would contribute to the spread of firefighting chemical contamination from Williamtown RAAF Base.

Half a million tonnes of sand will be extracted each year from Williamtown Sand Syndicate's $4.7 million mine proposal.

The mining approval comes amid the RAAF base contamination scandal, with part of the quarry falling inside the NSW Environment Protection Authority's revised "red zone" boundaries.

Neighbouring residents have been desperately fighting the development.

The approval comes in the same week as Defence revealed it was not considering buyouts in the area after toxic contamination from Williamtown RAAF base has rendered properties in the area unsaleable.

It was also the same week that an independent health panel established by the federal government found “consistent” evidence tying the contaminants to a string of adverse health effects, including disruption of the immune system. 

The quarry is expected to employ six permanent employees, generating $16 million for Port Stephens Council, which holds a lease over the land.

The Newcastle Herald previously reported that the original plans for the sand mine had been pared back - in response to dozens of objections by residents - shrinking its footprint from 68 to 42 hectares.

This story Controversial Williamtown sand mine approved first appeared on Newcastle Herald.