Council has green-lit a proposed Kalgan gravel pit while separately moving to assure residents it will make improvements to Deep Creek Road if a report deems them necessary. The approved gravel extraction will take place on a 2.9ha area about 3km from the intersection of Deep Creek Road and South Coast Highway. Residents have expressed concern about the extra vehicle movements brought about by the proposed pit and the impact it could have on the condition of the road. Janelle Price addressed the council during public question time at their last meeting, saying residents “feel like we’ve been forgotten”. She said the pit proponent had acknowledged the road was a “major, major problem” in its responses to public comments but they would not “suffer on a daily basis” as residents would. “Most of us have jobs in town and drive the road at least twice a day, the proponents of this application. . . don’t have to endure what we will endure on a daily basis,” she said. “I want you all to think about that because you can have a conversation tonight about what you are going to do about this road, but it could be well forgotten because half of you could be gone.” After some debate councillors unanimously agreed to approve the extraction application and consider the issue of the road condition separately. Cr Thomas Brough said the council was invested in addressing the important issue, ensuring the proposal was not considered under delegation. “We cannot hold a business developer accountable for an asset that is ours to take ownership of,” he said. “If we start doing that, as Cr (John) Shanhun said, we’d be hosed. “I can think of many residents and businesses who might say ‘I want to build here’, and we’d say ‘that’s an extra car on the road and the roads stuffed, so we can’t give you permission until the road is fixed’. “It’s back-to-front thinking, and there are two issues here.” Cr Sandy Smith said the gravel pit was proposed as a small operation and that concerns were not about the gravel pit. “We can’t say you can’t operate because our roads are not good enough,” she said. “Surely we can’t refuse this on that basis.” The council unanimously supported a report on the road’s condition and its position in the priorities hierarchy as proposed by Cr Chris Thomson and amended by Cr Greg Stocks. Cr Thomson said a report would give “some solace and some certainty to the community”. “We need the condition of that road before we start imposing conditions on the proponent,” he said. Cr Stocks said a report was needed to clearly show work to improve the road’s condition was needed. “I’d like to fix their road if it’s in the condition we all understand as no good,” he said. “We’ve got to have a baseline somewhere that you can compare it to something else, otherwise the condition report will mean nothing and we’ll end up with a report that is purely subjective.” It is expected about 24,500 tonnes of material will be extracted from the site over a five-year period in three stages. In response to concerns raised during the public comment period, the proponent suggested that less than one pocket road train movement per day, with as many as 20 movements a day at peak times. The response stated the average number of movements was “comparable to many farming operations over the course of the year”. Twenty-four conditions have been placed on the approval.