COUNCIL will continue to pursue Yancoal for more than $8.4 million in public contributions as part of planned expansion of its Stratford mine.
In response to the expansion plans, council submitted a proposal to Yancoal detailing contributions from the company it deemed to appropriate for the future upkeep of public assets.
Council’s submission requested a total of $13.7 million for the 11-year life of the project, with a $3.5 million contribution for overtaking lanes and pavement rehabilitation of the Bucketts Way as well as $249,000 for road maintenance each year.
Also included in the submission were a $300,000 per annum contribution towards an agricultural fund and a $221,000 per year payment for a community enhancement program.
The annual spend for Yancoal would have been about $930,000.
In response to council’s submission, Yancoal said it was prepared to pay $144,000 per annum to council.
That included a $6500 annual contribution towards the maintenance of the Bucketts Way and a $137,500 (estimated) commitment to a community enhancement program, which would include its current education fund contribution of $30,000 per annum.
The company said pavement rehabilitation works for the Bucketts Way, for which council requested a one-off payment of $1.9 million, was the responsibility of the Roads and Maritime Service and council and that the mine expansion would not result in significant impacts to the road.
Yancoal rejected any contribution towards overtaking lanes to the north and south of the Stratford mine entrance (an estimated cost of $1.6 million). The company also dismissed outright any contribution towards an agricultural fund or surface and groundwater plan ($100,000 per annum).
It said the $13.7 million proposal represented nearly 20 per cent of the total project value of $75 million and was at odds with council’s own maximum developer contribution levy of $750,000.
Council is still seeking overtaking lanes for the Bucketts Way, but has agreed to forgo any contribution towards pavement rehabilitation and reduced its annual maintenance request to $57,000. It will continue to push for annual contributions towards an agricultural fund and surface and groundwater plan.