Brisbane City Council has not ruled out the possibility of privatising two quarries it owns at Mt Coot-tha and Bracalba, north west of Caboolture.
Speculation is rife after Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk was questioned by the council?s opposition leader Milton Dick about five meetings held between lobbyist Rowland Pty Ltd on behalf of Future Quarry Resources and council representatives.
Brisbane City Council has owned and operated Bracalba Quarry, 70km north of the city, since 2003. The quarry supplies more than two million tonnes of quarry products each year for civil construction projects.
The 30-hectare Mount Coot-tha quarry has been operational since 1919 and produces more than 400,000 tonnes of asphalt aggregate each year.
Driving value for money
Cr Quirk said he had no knowledge of the meetings between council and Rowland but did not rule out the possible sale of the two sites.
“I was not aware of those particular meetings, I don’t know about all meetings held across the organisation but I make it clear I never rule anything in or out,” Cr Quirk said.
“We will continue to look at every opportunity for savings, for opportunities to drive value for money. We would not be doing our job if we did not continue to explore if we were getting value for money out of assets that we have,” he added.
Deputy mayor Adrian Schrinner, who attended two of the meetings, also declined to say whether sale of the sites was discussed. “The meeting was simply for a couple of individuals to introduce themselves to explain their role in the quarrying industry,” he said.
A spokeswoman for Rowland Pty Ltd said she could not comment. “Rowland has a policy of not discussing client activities,” she said.
The general agreement in the quarry industry is that both Brisbane City Council-owned quarries are extremely strong properties for any potential suitors.
?Both quarries are great assets, with Mt Coot-tha having a quarry life in excess of 10 years and Bracalba having a life in excess of 50 years,? Alan Robertson, director of Ausrocks Consulting, told Quarry. ?BCC also owns Pine Mountain Quarry which is a landfill with a life in excess of 10 years.?
Ausrocks specialises in the consulting and design aspects of underground and surface mining as well as civil drill and blast construction. It recently assisted Mt Coot-tha Quarry with the remediation of one million bench cubic metres of tunnel boring machine spoil from Brisbane?s Legacy Way project.
Source: The Brisbane Times