Quarrying in a watercourse or lake
Quarry material such as sand, gravel, rocks and soil can be extracted from the non–tidal reaches of streams (called watercourses) and freshwater natural lakes.
Before you can extract the material, you must have:
- a resource allocation under the Water Act 2000
- a development permit under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009
- permission from any landholder/s (or leaseholders/trustees of State land) whose properties you will need to cross to access the site and haul the material).
Note that material removed from a watercourse or lake for stream management purposes (e.g. desilting, bed and bank protection) is not quarry material unless it is then sold or used for any productive purpose, such as for manufacturing, building, or as fill. To extract waste material, you may require a riverine protection permit.
Applying for a resource allocation
When applying for a resource allocation, you must inform the department of:
- the amount of material required
- the length of time needed to extract it
- the watercourse reach where it is located.
Provided you have given sufficient information, the department will assess the potential impact that removing the material will have on:
- the long term stability of the watercourse or lake
- any downstream features such as estuaries and beaches that naturally require such material from the watercourse
- any existing resource allocation within the watercourse or lake.
The department gives preference to applications that demonstrate environmental benefits (e.g. removing a sand slug or alleviating bank erosion) or have a minimal impact on the natural environment (e.g. taking material from a dam or weir storage area).
If the application relates to a watercourse or lake in a wild river area, the application will not be granted unless the quarry material is to be used for specified works or residential complexes in that area.
Resource allocations are granted for a maximum of five years. They can be renewed and can be transferred to another person.
- Quarry material allocation (PDF, 65K)*
- Renewal of quarry material allocation (PDF, 59K)*
- Transfer of quarry material allocation (PDF, 56K)*
Applying for a development permit
Before you can apply for a development permit, you must hold a resource allocation as outlined above. You must also inform the department of how you propose to:
- extract the quarry material
- transport it from the site
- protect and/or rehabilitate the site during and after the extraction operation.
The department will assess the potential impact of the operation on the stability of the watercourse or lake at the site and the environmental impact, both during and after the operation. It will also assess any vegetation clearing that is required, and any impacts on water quality and wildlife habitat, and give preference to operations that use best practice, including progressive rehabilitation.
The local council can assess your application with respect to the relevant town planning scheme, particularly with regard to potential noise, dust, traffic and road impacts.
Payment of royalties
Each month during the operation you must advise the department, in writing, of the amount of quarry material, if any, that you have taken. You must also pay a royalty for any quarry material taken from State lands. Concessional royalties apply for quarry material to be used for local government and State government purposes, e.g. roads.
(Note that watercourses and lakes not contained within a surveyed freehold land parcel are commonly State lands.)
- Return for quarry material taken (PDF, 175K)*
This page is intended to provide an overview of the requirements. Contact the department or refer to the relevant legislation for specific details.
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Last updated 18 November 2011