The furore arose after Hornsby Council announced its intention to convert Hornsby Quarry and Old Man?s Valley from community to operational land. The council acquired the site from CSR, who owned and operated the site from 1959 to 2003, for $25.1 million.
According to The Hornsby Advocate, the council is currently draining water from the quarry, and will soon begin filling it with virgin excavated natural material (VENM), perhaps using surplus material from the North West Rail Link.
But protesters are concerned both about the intensity of the work required to refill the quarry, and the site?s rezoning as ?operational land.?
Using a geotechnical report from Pells Sullivan Meyninc , protestors are claiming the restoration would require a truck load of fill every five minutes for 40 hours a week over more than 20 years. The report also found that the reclamation would cost $55 million to complete, a fact the council disputes.
?With several large projects, including the North West Rail Link, increasing the availability of clean fill, the market for VENM has changed in recent years,? the spokesman said, insisting the refill would pay for itself.
Residents, however, are claiming the amount of activity required would be disruptive.
?Who will fit the bill for the damage to our roads? Who will clean the inevitable mess deposited on the roads?? Hornsby resident Allie Bruins asked the newspaper. ?Can the public please see Hornsby Council?s traffic studies before this current plan to fill the Hornsby Quarry is progressed??
Protesters in the area are also concerned that the reclaimed land will be used for the construction of high-rise apartments, preferring instead that the site remain community land.
?They have to put units up somewhere but not somewhere as close to the train station as these beautiful playing fields,? resident Lucy Bal told The Hornsby Advocate. ?Old Mans Valley needs to be used as recreational land, because not everyone can get to Fagan Park (in Galston).?
SOURCE: The Hornsby Advocate