Quarrel over quarry


Quarrel over quarry

No deal: Mirboo North locals turned out in droves to oppose the quarry plan.

MIRBOO North residents are opposing the possibility of trucks driving to and from a quarry, saying the development would disturb their livelihoods.
The quarry is proposed to be 2.6ha in size, on a 5ha block, and would produce up to 10,000 cubic metres of gravel a year.
The quarry is positioned at 655 Old Thorpdale Road, just out of Mirboo North, and trucks would convey gravel from the pit.
But residents nearby do not feel that there is a safe passage for the large vehicles, and neither do the 153 people who signed a petition opposing the proposal.
“We have major safety concerns. If there were lines in the middle of the road a truck wouldn’t be able to stay on its side of the road. It’s too narrow,” said Old Thorpdale Road resident, Gretel Kennedy.
A group of 15 gathered to speak with The Star last week, all with differing reasons for the same cause: saying no to the quarry trucks.
“This would just be the thin edge of the wedge. If this is allowed then there’s no monitoring how many trips he’ll do up and down these roads,” said Robert Hughes, another Old Thorpdale Road resident, who has lived in the area for 32 years.
Quarry developer Stephen Riley addressed South Gippsland Shire Council at a briefing session last Wednesday.
He said the number of trucks would average two per day but said up to 15 could travel the road some days, to service demand.
The locals were upset at the prospect of trucks driving past their houses for 12 hours during the day, six days a week, but say that it did not concern Mr Riley.
“He woke up my children the other week. Even with the TV on loudly and all the windows closed I could still hear the trucks going up and down the road,” Mrs Kennedy said.
“I told him that at our meeting and he didn’t care. His only concern is to get that gravel out.”
Mr Riley said many farmers in the area supported his proposal but said he appreciated residents’ concerns about increased traffic.
“The road issue is out of my hands. I can only put it on the table. I’m not the expert. That’s what council is there for,” Mr Riley said.
The disgruntled opponents of Mr Riley’s plan penned a written response questioning their safety and wellbeing.
“The dirt road is narrow, in some places falling away to a steep descent. (The road) has brought many a good driver unstuck,” they said.
“The roads will become more corrugated, ripped up and unsafe, not to mention added noise pollution and dust settling in water tanks.”
The group also claimed the proposal would lead to a drop in property values.
“We had one person recently looking to buy in the area, but as soon as they found out about this pit they went elsewhere,” said resident Mark Christie.
But for the neighbours who have inhabited the area for many years, moving may not be an option.
“We will not stop until it’s stopped. If it gets past here we’ll take it to VCAT (Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal),” Mrs Kennedy said.

Short URL: http://www.thestar.com.au/?p=265

Posted by SiteAdmin on Oct 26 2010. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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