Spoil deal to transform quarry in six years

Hornsby Shire Council voted unanimously to accept an offer from the New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) to fill its disused Hornsby Quarry with one million cubic metres of virgin spoil from the NorthConnex tunnel project, which began early work activities in February.

The quarry site has been closed for more than a decade due to geotechnical instability issues that have made it unsafe for the public to enter. According to the council’s meeting minutes, the RMS offer presented a “one-off opportunity” to quickly fill the quarry pit with spoil and progress the council’s plans to redevelop the site into high quality parklands by 2021.

“It is unlikely that this opportunity will be available in the foreseeable future and if not pursued would leave the quarry inaccessible to the public with little realistic prospect of achieving the recreation/cultural vision for the site,” the meeting minutes stated. “Given the high price already paid for the quarry by Hornsby residents, this would be an unacceptable outcome.”

The RMS proposal involves the delivery of spoil over a period of 18 months to two years, with up to 25 trucks entering and 25 trucks exiting the quarry every hour. As previously reported by Quarry, the council previously considered other transport methods, including the construction of a purpose-built tunnel or conveyor from outside of the quarry. However, it was decided that these options were not feasible due to excessive costs.

Government collaboration

{{image2-a:r-w:200}}The council and the state and federal governments agreed earlier this month to each contribute $7.33 million to fund the $22 million project.

“NorthConnex will bring wide ranging benefits to residents and motorists through productivity improvements and jobs but now it will also fix the long-standing Hornsby quarry issue,” Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss commented.

Phillip Ruddock, the federal member for Berowra, said using the spoil in Hornsby Quarry “makes good sense” because the site would be safer once filled. “Using the spoil from NorthConnex to fill in the Hornsby Quarry should also free Hornsby Shire Council to invest more on other local needs,” he noted.

The local state MP for Hornsby, Matt Kean, added, “We have a once in a generation chance as we build NorthConnex to fill in Hornsby Quarry and create the ‘people’s park’ in its place, like [Sydney’s] Centennial Park.

"We [the NSW Government] will be working with the Hornsby Shire to undertake widespread public consultation to find the best uses for the site. The council will remediate the site and work with RMS to ensure we limit the truck routes in and out of the quarry.”

More reading
Local, state, federal govts team up for quarry rehab
Adventure experiences touted for disused quarry
Industry calls for better spoil management
Quarry tunnel a ‘golden opportunity’
Council wins valued quarry fight
Sporty end for Hornsby Quarry
Architect proposes skyscraper in pit
Residents in arms against quarry reclamation

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