Deal profile | Gadens acts for Austral Bricks in win for development of clay quarry
5 October 2018
Gadens has acted for premium brick manufacturer, Austral Bricks, on its application for development of a red clay quarry in Wallan, Victoria. The quarry recently received approval from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal after an appeal against Mitchell Shire Council’s decision to refuse a planning permit for the quarry.
The Quarry is located within the urban growth boundary on land that is near to the Austral Bricks manufacturing plant at Wollert, keeping the costs of transport and therefore the cost of bricks down.
The case was important because the land was also identified as part of a broader precinct for the future location of the Beveridge Interstate Freight Terminal. While the Victorian Planning Authority and the Department of Economic Development supported the proposal, some local residents, the Council and residential developers opposed the proposal arguing that the land is instead required for urban purposes and that the quarry would cause conflicts with existing and future residential land.
The Tribunal ultimately held that the net community benefit of approving the quarry, outweighed any negative impacts which may arise in allowing extraction before finalisation of the longer term strategic planning for the area, both for the Freight purposes and any future urban purposes. The Tribunal also held that any off-site amenity impacts could be managed so that they did not cause unreasonable or unacceptable impacts.
Partner Meg Lee says “We are thrilled with the result for Austral Bricks as we know how important the quarry is for the future pipeline of raw materials for brick manufacturing and supply of bricks for housing in the growth areas.”
Firms involved: Gadens (acted for Austral Bricks), Urbis, Traffix Group, Earth Tech Services, Golder Associates, Engeny Water Management. Maddocks acted for Council. Norton Rose Fulbright for Villawood. Best Hooper for Newbridge.
Deal area: Planning & Environment
Practice groups involved: Planning & Environment
Key players: Gadens partner Meg Lee led the team. Other lawyers involved in the matter include Senior Associate, Kate Kirby and Lawyer, Zina Teoh. Our team worked with eminent barrister Stuart Morris QC and Nicola Collingwood as junior counsel.
The quarry will be established to allow up to around 4.13 million tonnes of red plastic clay to be extracted, thereby allowing the production of bricks at Austral’s existing Wollert Plant well into the future and supporting the increasing demand for bricks for Melbourne’s ever growing housing market.