Blasting at Hutchison Quarries has been monitored, says manager Scott Hutchison.
Quarry operator denies expansion will impact dam
Reports that blasting from a proposed quarry expansion next to Leslie Dam in southeast Queensland could damage the dam wall are an over-reaction, according to the quarry operator.
An application by Hutchison Quarries, near Warwick, 130km southwest of Brisbane, was debated at a Southern Downs Regional Council planning committee meeting and later approved.
Hutchison Quarries wants to increase its output from a maximum 100,000 tonnes of rock a year to up to 300,000 tonnes over four years.
Quarry owners the Hutchison family have been working the quarry for eight years and over the past few years the business has been growing.
But with the quarry in close proximity to Leslie Dam, council officers sought advice from dam owner SunWater, whose engineers asked for a special condition that the dam wall be monitored for cracking whenever rock blasting is carried out.
They also required that no explosives be stockpiled on the site in non-blasting periods, in case of an accidental explosion.
“We’ve never stockpiled any explosives on-site,” quarry manager Scott Hutchison countered. “We’ve always used contractors to drill and blast, and we’ve monitored our blasts.”
The quarry was originally approved 22 years ago by the former Rosenthal Shire Council and has been operational throughout.
Planning committee director Ken Harris said he and his staff were confident that the potential impacts of the larger quarry could be managed which is why the green light was given to the proposal.
The Hutchisons live locally and contribute to the overall wellbeing of the local region.
“We paid for upgrades to the two roads that go to the quarry,” Hutchison said. “We employ nine people here and do as much business in the local area as we can.”
Sources: Warwick Daily News, Hutchison Quarries
Posted June 29, 2012