Shire councillors have confirmed officers are aware of a slew of complaints and instances where some gravel pit operators across the region have allegedly ignored guidelines and breached capacity limits. The admission, revealed in comments from Cr Brian Daniel at last week’s Shire of Augusta-Margaret River council meeting, follow years of complaints raised by residents concerned about truck volumes, the effects on amenity, and operation hours at some of the shire’s privately run gravel and lime sites. The issue came to a head last week after councillors approved its new extractive industries policy weeks after knocking back a contentious gravel pit off Boronia Road in Rosa Glen likely to be decided by the State Administrative Tribunal. Councillors tweaked the new policy during Wednesday night’s meeting amid concerns from Cr Daniel that the Shire risked rewarding bad behaviour without tighter controls. “We talk about this quite often, the non-compliance that is within this industry, and we’re really just calling it out,” he said. “I’ve had numerous phone calls. “(Shire officers) have evidence of quite substantial non-compliance and this is something we need to enforce.” Cr Daniel added a clause reinforcing that non-compliance would meet with consequences, while Cr Tracey Muir added a clause putting a 12-month limit on permit renewals where non-compliance was found. Crs Ian Earl and Kylie Kennaugh opposed Cr Daniel’s change, with Cr Earl saying officers worked through issues with operators already. Shire legal and governance officer Ian McLeod confirmed the Shire had a tiered approach to enforcement which ranged from bringing sites into compliance right through to litigation. But Cr Daniel said stronger measures were needed due to persistent breaches. “We have to put our foot down, otherwise we’re rewarding bad behaviour,” he said. Cr Muir supported the change as well. “We need to make it quite clear the compliance is enforced,” she said. Cr Earl also won a change to the policy handing operators back their chance to work on Saturdays from 8am to 1pm. During the debate, Cr Daniel had a go at his colleague Cr Earl for not backing his amendment, stating officers had significant evidence past operators had exceeded pit volumes, hours of operation, and gone over the licence period. But Cr David Binks brought him to order for breaching debate policy.