PRESSURE to complete all flood recovery road works before funding is cut off at the end of June has prompted a major expansion of quarry operations at Crows Nest.
Smoothy's Gravel Pit lies on a grazing property 20km north-west of the town on the New England Hwy and has been approved to increase its annual gravel production from less than 5000 tonnes to up to 100,000 tonnes.
Traditionally operated at a relatively low production level, the need to complete road maintenance before the July end to Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements funding has forced council to ramp up its operations.
More than 10,000km of roads were damaged in the floods, with council estimating their repair to require more than 1.5 million tonnes of quarry material.
A similar expansion proposed for a quarry in Haden created community uproar when it was announced late last year.
Nearby residents criticised the plan for being to close too Haden State School after learning council intended to increase gravel production from 5000 to 100,000 tonnes.
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