Environmental News

Action film puts quarry on the red carpet

Several car chase scenes from the 2015 action movie Mad Max: Fury Road were filmed at the Penrith Lakes sand quarry located in New South Wales.

In May 2015, just after the film’s release, NSW Minister for the Arts Troy Grant said, “Fury Road has generated $80 million in production expenditure and hundreds of jobs for the state, and further boosted Sydney’s reputation as Australia’s number one movie-making destination.”

The now inactive Penrith Lakes sand and gravel quarry, which was established in the 1880s, covers an area of 1935ha and was said to be the largest quarry in the southern hemisphere.

More than 160 million tonnes of aggregate was extracted from the site over the course of its life, mostly to supply Sydney’s construction industry. At its peak, the quarry produced seven million tonnes of sand and gravel each year.

As previously reported by Quarry, Penrith Lakes delivered its last load on 21 September, 2015, but the quarry has arguably been immortalised in Mad Max: Fury Road. After receiving 10 nominations, the high-profile film was last week announced as the winner of six Academy Awards.

Fiona Scott, the Federal MP for Lindsay, whose electorate encompasses the Penrith Lakes quarry region, commented on the win on Facebook, remarking, “Mad Max: Fury Road has cleaned up at the 88th Academy Awards … not bad for a film that was partly shot at Castlereagh. Most successful Australian film at the Academy Awards of all time!”

Although the Penrith Lakes quarry is scheduled for remediation, NSW MP for Penrith Stuart Ayres indicated it had left a legacy by helping to boost the local region’s reputation as an emerging location for major screen and television productions.

“Having more film production in Sydney’s west is helping to create new jobs and boost the local economy, as well as raising the profile of our community to national and international audiences,” Ayres said.

“People from the west know what we have to offer, and through opportunities like these films, so will people around the world.”

Penrith Lakes is not the first quarry to grace the silver screen. The 200-year-old Trefil limestone quarry located in the Welsh town of Tredegar was featured in the films The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Wrath of the Titans, as well as in the television shows Merlin and Doctor Who. Another limestone quarry in Magheramorne, Northern Ireland has also become a famous setting in the fantasy television series Game of Thrones.


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Posted by Fiona Scott MP – Member for Lindsay on Monday, 29 February 2016

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