Nullaki lime mine a “win-win”

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
REW: Nullaki property near Denmark and Albany
Camera IconREW: Nullaki property near Denmark and Albany Credit: Supplied

A Nullaki landowner who has controversially been given approval to mine on his property has called the decision a “win-win situation”.

On January 11 the State Administrative Tribunal overruled a 2018 City of Albany council decision, granting conditional approval for Graeme Robertson to mine lime at his Nullaki property, 5km east of Denmark.

This came despite the proposal having been twice rejected by the City of Albany council, based on the proposed mine being within a conservation zone.

Mining permission was granted despite objections from two government departments, but comes with 45 conditions relating to environment, traffic, noise, dust, fire risk and compliance.

Landowner Graeme Robertson said mining in Nullaki would provide region-wide benefits.

“(It’s) a win for the farmers in the Great Southern by providing a natural resource that will save them approximately 50 per cent on their cost of obtaining first grade, agriculture lime,” he said.

“(It’s also) a win for the environment, with a maximum of 3ha cleared on a temporary basis.”

Mr Robertson claimed farmers had contacted him over the past 13 years interested in Nullaki lime.

He said the City would have saved “an enormous amount of ratepayers’ money” if it had approved his proposal in the first place.

However, Albany acting mayor Greg Stocks said council was “puzzled and bitterly disappointed” by the SAT’s decision to overrule council decision.

“We’re surprised that an extractive industry was found by the SAT to be consistent with the objectives and provisions of the conservation zoning,” he said.

“Council felt the development was not consistent with the zone or with orderly and proper planning principles, and these were strong grounds for refusal.”

Council and City staff will review the SAT findings in the coming weeks.

The SAT has previously overruled a City of Albany decision to reject the under-construction service station at the Chester Pass roundabout.

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