Industry News

Quarries assist storm-ravaged communities

Construction materials supplier Hanson has demonstrated its commitment to the local community by donating aggregate from its Seaham-based Brandy Hill quarry. The material has been used to help reconstruct nearby regions after severe weather swept through eastern New South Wales in April.

The NSW State Emergency Service received more than 21,500 requests for emergency help after the storms, leading to what a SES press release described as “the biggest response operation in the history of the service”.

Brandy Hill quarry manager Michael Benic explained that Hanson had also received requests for assistance. “Many local residents and community members have been contacting the Brandy Hill quarry asking for help with rebuilding driveways, roads and local access,” he said. “We’ve co-ordinated support from the quarry for many local neighbourhoods in response to requests but also proactively assisted local groups, schools and people that we learned needed help.”

At the time of publication, Hanson had donated approximately 5000 tonnes of material and labour towards reconstruction efforts. “Our staff worked overtime to ensure the local community had the help it needed,” Benic stated. “We put on extra transport and drivers, and many local businesses also provided transport to truck our road materials to locations where it was needed.”

While the majority of the damage addressed was within a 5km to 10km radius of the quarry, Benic said Hanson had assisted anyone who had asked for it. He also highlighted the personal nature of the cause, saying, “All of the team of staff and drivers of Brandy Hill quarry are long-time local residents, and some of us were born and bred in the area. We have been contacted by friends, family and community but the need to help in the aftermath of the floods was obvious to us all. We have donated and given materials, time and labour wherever we could.”

Quarries, community working together

Another quarry that was enlisted to help repair storm-damaged infrastructure was Martins Creek quarry, which is operated by Daracon Group subsidiary Buttai Gravel.

After whole areas of the North Coast Rail Line’s railway track and supporting foundations were washed away during the floods, the NSW Environment Protection Authority issued Martins Creek quarry with approval to operate 24 hours a day on a short-term basis.

While it was initially expected that the extended hours would be required for up to four weeks, a Daracon spokesperson said the quarry was able to supply the required material in just over a fortnight, with the quarry subsequently returning to normal operating hours.

The spokesperson said Daracon was grateful for the local community’s understanding during this time. “All of the community worked together to get local services back on track after the storm emergency and Daracon is proud to be part of this resilient community,” she added.


Editor’s note – Interestingly, both the Brandy Hill and Martins Creek quarries are seeking to increase their production limits to 1.5 million tonnes per annum. The recent critical assistance the quarries have provided seemingly underscores the importance of securing aggregate supply to meet current and future infrastructure needs. Both Hanson and Daracon are currently in the process of preparing environmental impact statements for their respective quarry expansion applications.


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