A meeting of concerned residents to address concerns over the proposed expansion of a Boral quarry at Dunnstown has heard residents want more detail and less empty rhetoric about what is planned for the site.
The meeting for Dunnstown, Yendon and Navigators residents was facilitated by Boral at the Dunnstown Football Netball Club on Wednesday night. Attended by approximately 30 concerned residents and locals and representatives of Moorabool Shire, Boral and the State Government, including local member Michaela Settle, the assembled audience heard a frank admission from Boral it had failed to consult effectively in the past.
The quarry was established at Dunnstown in 1974, providing stone for road and other projects across the region. According to Boral it provides employment for 45 full-time workers as well as contract work for local drivers and operators, annually producing 750,000 tonnes of high-grade basalt aggregate.
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However Boral says there is only three to four years of production left in the current pit, and has embarked upon a plan for expansion on the 280 ha site, including the closure of some local roads and the construction of new ones. The expansion will move to the west, the south and the south-west, and residents are concerned the new pits will cause more impact with dust, blast shockwaves and increased truck activity.
Yendon resident Rick Stephens helped coordinate the meeting and says Boral need to address their social licence to operate, and provide residents with better information about their operations.
"They are working on a proposal to change the size of the operation to probably three times as big as what it is now," Mr Stephens told The Courier.
'We're still trying to work out what's happening for the three communities involved. It's very early days so we want to just make sure we get in and get our voices heard as far as what their proposal is. They're telling us the proposal is changeable at this stage but we just have to make sure. We're not against the quarry but we just want to hold them to account. We want to make sure they take heed of the social licence they need."
Several speakers voiced concerns about the impact of increased works on both home and heritage values, pleading with Boral to improve its communications.
Boral quarry planning and approvals manager for Victoria Blair Mather addressed some of the issues raised by residents, saying the company is seeking to develop a "comprehensive stakeholder engagement and communication strategy for the site that will provide a clear framework for undertaking meaningful engagement with the communities in and around Dunnstown Quarry."
He said the company is a long way from finalising any plans about the site, and community consultation about works and rehabilitation is high on Boral's agenda.
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