Quarry cat out of the bag

Bill Pearson and Geri Fargas of the Mount Cannibal and District Preservation Group are disturbed over the Tonimbuk Quarry project. 142498_02

By DANI ROTHWELL

THE proposed Tonimbuk Quarry is still in the works.
Bill Pearson of the Mount Cannibal and District Preservation Group said the company which bought the former Tonimbuk Equestrian Centre and surrounding land had ‘finally admitted to their application to develop a quarry’ there.
Mr Pearson said the quarry was set to have a 40 to 50-year lifespan and had a variety of impacts on nearby residents.
In 2008, Hanson commissioned a survey of the community, the Futureye report.
Mr Pearson said they surveyed 200 people, and of them only one person said that they didn’t care.
“Everyone else was against the quarry,” he said.
Daniel Fyfe is Hanson’s project manager for Hanson’s Garfield North application.
“Hanson continues to progress the Garfield North application,” he said.
“Over this period and through focused, ongoing students, the company is developing a deeper understanding of the Garfield North site and making sure it addresses not only changing legislation, but also how to optimise land use.”
Over the past nine years, local residents have failed to sell their properties that are close to the proposed quarry site.
“It’s ironic … Hanson buying those properties at inflated values increased property values in the area and my rates,” said one Futureye report responder.
“However, if the quarry goes ahead, my property will go down in value.”
Mr Pearson said the proposed site of the quarry was only required to have a 100-metre buffer zone between the quarry and its boundaries.
Multiple responses to the survey expressed concern over the impact it would have on noise and the environment.
“It would be a complete disruption to the lifestyle we have here,” said a response.
“It’s so peaceful here; a little piece of paradise,” another said.
Despite these strong remarks, Mr Pearson said Hanson had called the survey results outdated.
Mr Fyfe said development applications were complex.
“Conducting feasibility studies, meeting all the legislative requirements and ongoing community consultation are all fundamental to a sustainable project but they take time,” he said.
“Through this, Hanson will continue to work with the community in order to provide resources for future development, local employment opportunities and ongoing business relationships.”
But Mr Pearson said his experience had been underwhelming.
“What we’ve seen is a lack of co-operation and no access to information,” he said.
Hanson expects that should they meet the requirements and gain approval, that the site would begin excavation in 2018-2019, with up to 150 trucks per day accessing the site.

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