Concerned residents from a South West shire have pleaded with council to deny approval to re-open gravel mining pits in the region during a heated three-hour council meeting. The Shire of Capel’s ordinary council meeting was met with dozens of ratepayers seated in the viewing gallery as councillors discussed the proposal to consider a development application for an Industry–Extractive license for sand and gravel on two closed mines. The mines are located at at Lot 393 Lowrie Road, Gwindinup and Lot 287 South Western Highway, Gwindinup. They were previously approved for extractive licenses in 2013, however have since been closed due to meeting the previous original 1:10 slope rate conditions. The new proposal comes following changes to the slope rate, where extractive industries can amend mine slopes from the original 1:10 slope rate to 1:6, mining more material from the land. The officer recommendation for both proposals would see the shire approve the extractive industry license for a period of five years and “increase the excavation depth from near the eastern boundary.” Gwindinup residents Doug and Tracy Tame, submitted a question the the council explaining why they will be severely impacted by the application. “Council’s original planning approval in 2013 states that the extraction operations would not come within 500m of our residence, council is now recommending approval for in which extractive operations will now be 40m from our boundary fence, 100m from our residence,” they wrote. “Operations being so near our home is going to impact our peaceful lifestyle such as dust, noise and visual detriment.” “Can you please explain why the council considers our lifestyle less important than the applicant’s development application?” Gwindinup resident Helen Bennett also expressed her concerns during public question time. “Clearing of this land adversely affects the lifestyle of why I live in a rural area. To allow it to proceed , you are taking the habitat away from many flora and fauna that we who live here, know depend on this corridor,” she said. As part of the proposal, an updated officers recommendation includes the rehabilitation of gravel pits once the mining is complete, which will be submitted to council as a report before clearing commences. However councillor Kieran Noonan said he had concerns on the effectiveness of rehabilitation. “At best, the rehabilitation will be mediocre, there is not a site in the country on a gravel hill where the rehabilitation has turned back to anything like to the flora that was removed,” he said. Councillor Peter McCleery “reluctantly” supported the motion, but was persuaded by “the new criteria of setting up a rehabilitation plan before anything is cleared.” However councillor Kaara Andrew disagreed with the motion, with “massive concerns around the efficacy” of the rehabilitation plan and the impact on rural lifestyle. After heated debate over the two proposals, the council carried a motion to adjourn the consideration until the June council meeting.