The voluntary site-specific scheme, known as EPIQ (Environmental Performance Indicator Queensland), rewards and provides opportunities for recognition to quarries that meet and exceed EPIQ’s environmental performance criteria.
Research conducted by the Department of Environment and Science (DES) and the CCAA found that 85 per cent of quarry operators wanted to be rewarded and recognised for good environmental management.
“The Queensland quarrying industry has been highly motivated to work with the department over the past two years to participate in the research project and attend workshops to co-design a scheme that is tailored to their industry,” Dr Charis Anton, the DES’s senior project officer for behavioural insights, told Quarry. “This shows a commitment within the industry to work with the department to improve environmental performance across the industry.”
In 2018, a series of workshops attended by quarry operators, industry bodies and government and community representatives co-designed the EPIQ scheme. It was officially launched on 30 October, 2018 and will run for 12 months as a trial.
EPIQ is open to all privately-owned quarry sites in Queensland that haven’t had any compliance issues in the past 12 months, exceed the requirements of one or more of their environmental authority conditions and can demonstrate a commitment to best practice.
Successful participants receive a gold, silver or bronze medallion, which can be used to promote their quarry. Sites in the EPIQ scheme are published on the DES’s website.
First awards granted
Twenty-four quarry sites have currently registered their interest and four full applications have been received, of which three were eligible for reward and recognition.
In January, Hanson’s Nerang site became the first site to receive public recognition.
“Hanson’s Nerang site was awarded a Bronze medallion for their blast monitoring program, community complaints handling process, environmental management system, efforts towards continually improving their environmental management on-site and waste recycling,” Anton said.
“In February [this year], Boral Resources’ Dundowran site was awarded a silver medallion for their blast monitoring program, complaints management, community liaison group, embedding environmental management practices across the workforce and environmental management system.
“Boral Resources’ Wellcamp site also achieved a grey recognition level for having had no compliance issues in the previous 12 months,” she said.
Detailed information about the EPIQ scheme’s guidelines and criteria can be found at the department’s website.
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