Media Release - 13th June 2019.
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Residents of Bunyip North, Garfield North, Tonimbuk and the surrounding townships are furious with recent responses from the proponent of a new super-sized granite quarry proposed for Bunyip North.
Local residents, represented by the Mount Cannibal and District Preservation Group Inc. (MCADPG), have asked the proponent, Hanson Construction Materials (subsidiary of German company Heidelberg Cement), how they came to choose this particular site for a quarry – a site that is 800 acres and larger than Melbourne’s CBD.
The proposed quarry site is in a green-wedge, environmentally significant region. It also sits at the foot of Mount Cannibal, and is in the middle of agricultural properties, residential homes, orchards and vineyards.
The area occupies a vital wildlife corridor between Mount Cannibal and the Bunyip State Park, which are both suffering significantly following the March bushfires.
Residents have also asked if there were alternative sites considered and why they were not chosen when they may have had a lesser impact on the environment.
“The EES process that is underway is intended to identify impacts on the environment and part of its scoping is to select a quarry site that is compatible with current land uses, has a suitable footprint that does not affect sensitive receptors nearby and does the least amount of environmental damage,” secretary of the MCADPG David Bywater said.
“However, when asked the simple questions (above, bolded) of the proponent, we received an unacceptable response from their newly-appointed project development manager, Nathan Cherry.
“Mr Cherry stated that ‘Hanson management believes the questions raised (by the residents) are not relevant to the EES,’ and therefore, did not need to be addressed or answered.
“I am afraid this kind of response is neither valid, nor professional, and flies in the face of the undertakings made in Hanson’s own community consultation plan, where engagement with the community and transparency in all dealings is emphasised.”
Within the project scoping developed by DELWP for this proposal, it is stated Hanson is expected to identify “the basis for selecting the area to be quarried.”
Additionally, Hanson is required to provide “an explanation of specific alternatives... in the light of achieving better environmental outcomes.”
MCADPG member and local resident Lorris Jones agreed with Mr Bywater, stating that this isn’t the first time that Hanson has ignored their obligations and responsibilities in regards to the EES.
“Hanson has, in the past, ignored the undertakings made in their community consultation plan, and now it seems that they are prepared to ignore the requirements of DELWP,” she said.
“The EES Process began in November 2015 after Planning Minister Richard Wynne recognised the serious implications a proposal like this quarry would have and ordered Hanson to undertake the study.
“It is likely that the EES will be completed by the end of the year. After Hanson and their teams of paid consultants have worked on the EES for around four years, they will table the document for public review.
“Despite Hanson having four years to complete their EES – and having the luxury of delaying it when they felt necessary - the public review period is only 20 days. This is patently unreasonable for the community to satisfactorily review the contents of the EES and give meaningful feedback to DELWP. A request to extend the review period has been made but no decision has been taken by DELWP at this stage.”
Ms Jones stressed that Hanson has continuously excluded the community from the EES process and feels as though the short review period only highlights the proponent’s continuous disregard for the community.
“We will not be provided with consultant reports as they are completed and will be forced to hurriedly review thousands of pages of technical details over a very short timeframe and this is totally unreasonable,’ she said.
Mr Bywater is now encouraging politicians to step in and provide justice for a community that he believes has been failed by and severely mistreated by Hanson.
“It seems now that we will have to resort to political pressure because common sense and reasonable community consideration by the proponent has failed us,” he said.
“I encourage all residents and all concerned members of the public to write to their politicians outlining their issues about this proposed quarry and the irreparable damage it will bring.”
Sample Letters and Links are available here.
What's at stake if HANSON get their way!
2 million tonnes of Granite per year trucked along Tonimbuk Road onto Princes Highway, that's around 550 truck movements daily over the next 70-100 years!
Blasting, crushing, machinery and truck movements, generating constant noise and dangerous dust particulate matter which can cause Silicosis! All this within a site that is just 20 metres from long established Homes and just 360 metres from State Significant Mount Cannibal reserve.
A Quarry the size of Brew Rd, Mount Shamrock and Tynong North Quarries combined on land equal to the size of Melbourne CBD.
A fence around the entire Quarry site denying Wildlife access through their established Bio-link corridors!
Irrevocable changes to Ground Water levels and Surface Water flow into established farm dams!
OUR Community action so far has resulted in...
Many hundreds of signatures petitioning the Minister for Planning that concluded in a full Environment Effects Statement (EES) being required.
Politicians being lobbied at both State & Federal level and us receiving acknowledgement both publicly and privately that they believe this Quarry proposal is in the wrong location!
How can I help
DONATE Now - We need funding urgently, to finance Legal representation and make this a fairer FIGHT!
Get SIGNING - Our Change.org petition & get all of your friends and family that love this pristine area to sign as well.
Start WRITING - to Local & Federal Politicians, and your Local Council, don't let them second guess how you feel about this proposal in your Community, make sure they know exactly how you feel!
Attend MEETINGS - As we are representing YOUR community, we welcome input from all community members, Contact Us for next scheduled meeting time.
Get INFORMED - Read our Facebook, Blog & Instagram updates.
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