By Bonny Burrows
After much debate about its location, the controversial Garfield North Quarry project has been renamed as pre-studies begin on the site.
Developer Hanson Construction Materials confirmed the project’s name change to the Bunyip North Quarry late last month due to “community preference” following a heated information session in late March.
Bunyip North residents have long argued that the 134-hectare granite quarry’s proposed site, about 500 metres from local icon Mount Cannibal, was within the township rather than neighbouring Garfield North.
Hanson’s continued reference to the site as Garfield North for the past 11 years has frustrated locals including Mount Cannibal and District Preservation Group treasurer David Bywater who previously told the Gazette it was “another example of how little Hanson knew about the area”.
“They’re calling it Garfield North because it’s a small town and Bunyip North is not,” Mr Bywater said.
In an email to residents, Quarry project development manager Stephanie Salinas thanked those who provided feedback at the 23 March meeting.
“One of the issues raised by several community members in attendance was their preference for the proposed project to be named Bunyip North Quarry rather than Garfield North Quarry,” Ms Salinas said.
“To respond to this concern, Hanson consulted with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) in relation to changing the project name.
“The department endorsed the change in project name and the project title is now officially recognised as Bunyip North Quarry.”
The name change coincides with progress on the unpopular project, with Hanson confirming in mid-May that preliminary studies would be conducted on the site in the next two months, to ensure all requirements of the Environment Effects Statement (EES) were met.
The EES was ordered by State Planning Minister Richard Wynne in 2015 to identify the large-scale project’s significant environmental effects and the proposed measures to reduce these.
“Studies will be undertaken for groundwater, air quality, ecology and traffic, which will assist the Technical Reference Group to ascertain the scope and most appropriate methodologies for the study program to be undertaken through the EES process,” Ms Salinas said.
“Consequently, you may see activity on the site by Hanson and its consultants. Be assured that Hanson is not commencing development or operational activity of the proposed quarry; rather it is work to inform the EES.”
Despite the commencement of pre-studies, residents against the proposal aren’t backing down, with the Stop the Bunyip North Action Group continuing its fight against the development which it says is unsuited to the location.
For more information on the project, visit www.hanson.com.au.
For details on the community action group visit www.stopthebunyipnorthquarry.com.