By BEN CAMERON
GARFIELD, Bunyip and Tonimbuk residents fear a stone quarry planned for the former Tonimbuk Equestrian Centre will create significant environmental problems.
The Mt Cannibal and District Preservation Group posted a community notice in the Bunyip and District Community News on 15 July calling on residents to attend an urgent meeting tomorrow night at the Tonimbuk Hall.
“This is serious. The proposal by Hanson to develop a stone quarry in Sanders Road has taken a large step towards reality,” it read.
“They are now preparing the necessary background work and lobbying people in power in preparation to lodging their application to develop the quarry.”
They fear the quarry will become a 24-hour, seven days a week operation, creating traffic issues on the Princes Highway and Tonimbuk Road intersection and cause significant environmental impacts on groundwater, creeks and rivers.
Up to 100 concerned residents are expected to meet tomorrow night to discuss Hanson’s plans at the hall from 7.30pm.
Local resident and former Cardinia Shire Council mayor Bill Pearson said a quarry would greatly affect residents’ liveability and chance to sell in the future.
“It’s like having a saw over your head,” he said.
“We can’t sell. Nobody wants to buy in the area. There are about 40 to 50 houses within a kilometre of it.”
The Weekly Times reported earlier this year it was unclear if the new owners, Hanson, would continue to hire the centre for competitions.
Gippsland’s biggest equestrian centre was sold last October for approximately $3m, according to a local real estate agent.
A spokesperson for Hanson said the firm was still in the process of assessing the Garfield quarry site, and remained committed to working with the community and relevant authorities to complete the necessary impact studies.