Environmental News

Residents in arms against quarry reclamation

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

UPDATE – 11AM, 12 january 2012

Further to this report, Hornsby resident Ailie Bruins has contacted Quarry to clarify recent media reports. 
According to Ms Bruins:
1. She is not opposed to the rehabilitation/reclamation of the Hornsby Quarry if it will facilitate the stabilisation and filling of the Hornsby Quarry void.
2. The objection to the traffic impost of filling the Hornsby Quarry by road was initiated by Hornsby Council in 2000 and, according to Ms Bruins, it is supported by some local residents and businesses. 
3. Not all locals are objecting to the proposed reclassification of the 28ha Hornsby Quarry site to operational status. There are concerns about the proposed reclassification of Old Man?s Valley, the adjacent 12ha parcel of parkland. 

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