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Council promises solution

Tuesday, 14th December, 2010

By Andrew Robertson

City Council is prepared to do everything in its power to ensure a haulage road is built in time for Perilya to use, according to Mayor Wincen Cuy.

The mayor said he was prepared to take the issue up directly with the Minister, if that's what it takes. 

His comments came after it was revealed Council has received legal advice that its resolution of last month to allow mining at Potosi to resume was not valid.

Approval was granted on the condition Perilya use a yet-to-be built haul road to transport ore from Potosi to its Southern Operations for treatment.

Councillors were told at an extraordinary meeting on Friday that the decision would likely be overturned if it was taken to the Land and Environment Court.

The advice has forced the council to find another solution to the transport issue that satisfies both residents and the mining company.

Yesterday Mayor Cuy said he could not discuss the options council was looking into, citing a confidentiality agreement, but was confident one would be found.

"We've got a couple of ideas that we think will fulfil everyone's needs," he said. BDT understands one option involves giving Perilya approval to transport ore through the streets in return for the company agreeing to use the haulage road once constructed.

Another option could see Council deferring approval on those parts of the application that relate to the transportation of material.

Residents along the proposed route have objected to Perilya's plan to transport ore past their homes in B-double trucks.

It also goes against the NSW State Environmental Planning Policy, which seeks to limit or prevent truck movements along roads in residential areas.

But Perilya has said the proposed haul road does not provide the certainty the company needs in order to proceed with Potosi, even with the 16 to 18month lead time required before production at the mine could begin.

Mayor Cuy said he could see no major impediment to the construction of the heavy vehicle route, with one exception: native title.

"If it takes me going to Sydney to talk to the Minister, I'll do it. "We'll do everything we can to make sure it happens."

The mayor said a solution would be found that provided the city with the jobs it needed without disrupting residents. 

"As far as council is concerned it's progressing in the right direction. "Everyone wants an outcome that's best for the city."

South resident and former councillor Alan Tucker said if Perilya was allowed to use the streets, residents might take matters into their owns hands.

He said some South residents had vowed to use their own vehicles to disrupt progress of the Bdouble trucks.

Mr Tucker said he was one of four people who turned up at last Friday's extraordinary meeting, only to be told afterwards that the matter was discussed and remains confidential.

"I think it could have been explained a little bit better to the people."

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