Screens & Feeders

Local strives to save historic quarry face

According to a report by ABC News, June Scott is lobbying for the community in Donnybrook, 210km south of Perth, to work with the private company that operates the local quarry to develop an “exit plan” that would facilitate the site’s protection and eventual transformation into a recreational area.

It was said that Scott specifically wished to preserve a section of Government Quarry located in Irishtown, a region on the west side of Donnybrook.

In a document she prepared, A Pictorial History of Donnybrook Sandstone, Scott stated, “This is the one and only sandstone face identified within Australia to have a timeline of extraction methods of sandstone on the same face wall.”

The document explained that the single face showed evidence of various aspects of quarrying, including blasting, hand picking, drilling and bed splitting.

Government Quarry is only one of a number of quarries that have operated in the region since the late 1800s. According to Scott, Donnybrook stone has featured in a number of Perth’s architectural landmarks – such as the Fremantle train station facade, the Western Australian Parliament House, the Perth General Post Office, and the AMP building and Newspaper House on St Georges Terrace, Perth – as well as in schools and war memorials.

The region’s sandstone was said to be popular due to its distinct colour and its ability to be cut, shaped and carved.

Scott told ABC News she was concerned that there is currently no formal protection in place for Government Quarry’s historic quarry face. Although the site was listed in the municipal heritage inventory in 1995, the heritage body didn’t feel the quarry met the “threshold” for state heritage listing.

Through further research and her efforts to raise interest within the community, Scott reportedly hopes the quarry will be protected and incorporated as part of the town’s tourism and recreation life in the same way that other WA quarries have been preserved. These include Wellington Dam quarry, which has been transformed into a picnic area, and the disused limestone quarry at City Beach that has now become Quarry Amphitheatre, a major outdoor venue.

Scott reiterated the importance of heritage in creating a sense of place for a community, and the quarry’s part in that.

“If you look at the [quarry] face – what a sense of place. There’s Donnybrook stone. You’re in Donnybrook,” she was quoted as saying. “Immerse yourself. Immerse yourself in Donnybrook and the heritage and the history.”

ABC News’ full report is available at

Scott’s pictorial history of Donnybrook sandstone is also available via

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