By Rebecca Skilton
Spurred by Hanson Construction Materials’ proposed granite quarry in Bunyip North, a disgruntled neighbour has artistically used his land to send the quarrying company a very clear message.
Hanson’s proposal is not welcome in the Bunyip North community.
The arrow’s artist said that his 160 metre long protest came as dedication to his late father-in-law who had been shattered by the proposed granite quarry.
“Back in the mid ’80s my father-in-law went searching for a block of land to build a weekender to escape the city life,” said the Garfield North resident, who asked not to be named.
“He wanted something that would afford some peace and quiet, a place he could stand in the middle of and not hear the neighbours.
“After some searching he stumbled upon a small block on the border of Garfield North and Bunyip North.”
Over three decades later, the property would also neighbour 691 acres owned by one of Australia’s leading suppliers of heavy building materials.
Since 2006, Hanson has been accumulating land in the Bunyip North region, initially purchased under the guise of a pastoral business.
Adding around 500 trucks to local roads daily, Hanson’s proposed quarry would extract up to 2 million tonnes of granite each year for the next 100 years.
“I remember thinking how sad it was that the remainder of my father-in-law’s retirement life was going to be spent fighting a proposed quarry.
“As it turned out, he only had a few years left to live and he did indeed spend every day thinking about what a quarry would do to this beautiful area.”
In 2015 the Victorian Minister for Planning Richard Wynne advised that an Environmental Effects Statement (EES) was required for the project.
The draft scoping requirements for the EES are currently being prepared and will be open for comment by interested parties for a minimum of 15 days.
However, for many residents, 10 years of fighting Hanson has begun to take its toll.
“The most frustrating aspect of this is that it then becomes incumbent on the community itself to fight for their rights and countless hours are spent doing this that could be spent more productively within the community.
“Also, the heavy toll it takes on people’s mental health is cause for concern.
“But as for the arrow itself, I just wanted to send a large message on behalf of my father-in-law and I fully intend to maintain it until it appears on Google Earth for the entire world to see.
“Because, as per one of my father-in-law’s favourite sayings ‘what we have got is a whole lot of stick-at-it-iveness’ to help see us through.”