Last chance to comment on quarry proposal

ABOVE: The Bentley protest group voiced their opposition to the Bentley Quarry at a Richmond Valley Council meeting.

Susanna Freymark

If you want to have a say on the Bentley Quarry development application, your last chance will be when the Northern Regional Planning Panel holds a meeting on August 24.

This meeting will be through a video conference before the panel makes a final decision.

For some reason, the panel is not doing a face-to-face session with the public as they are with Iron Gates in Evans Head this month.

For people like Charles Wilkinson from the Beyond Bentley Our Sustainable Future group that is a problem.

“We have internet issues out here,” Mr Wilkinson said. He lives at Bentley.

The group which is against the expansion of the quarry was “flabbergasted” that panel was consulting the community through a video conference, he said.

Former Lismore mayor Ros Irwin who is a Beyond Bentley group member said she asked project officer Lisa Foley why the public meeting was via video conference.

“She said to me, ‘We think it’s better, you don’t have to drive and you can do it electronically’.”

At the conference Mr Wilkinson will be speaking in opposition to the quarry.

The relevant documents have only been released by the panel today, Wednesday, August 17, and are available online.

The video session is on Wednesday, August 24 at 4pm and individuals and groups will have an opportunity to speak to the panel about the quarry proposal.

The Richmond Valley Council development application number is DA2022/0107- 1465 Bentley Rd.

Anyone can register to address the panel or to listen to the video conference.

Individual speakers have three minutes to speak and groups have 10 minutes.

You must register by contacting the planning panel’s secretariat before 4pm this Monday, August 22. Do this by phoning 8217 2060 or email enquiry@planningpanels.nsw.gov.au

When we phoned the number, it went it to the panel’s answering machine.

When you register you will be provided a link to join the video conference on August 24. The conference will be recorded for those who want to listen after the event. 

The panel aims to make a decision on the Bentley Quarry within seven days of the video conference.

We phoned and emailed the Northern Regional Planning Panel to ask why they weren’t doing a face-to-face session with the community but have not received a reply.

When we tried to register via the Planning Panel website, we were unable to do so because some of the links didn’t work.

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