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‘We Built This City’ – GSR under the spotlight


As part of CDE Global’s Engineering Insights virtual event, several specialists in the area of construction materials supply and demand convened for a presentation on the growth of global cities.

The presentation – titled ‘We Built This City’ – was headlined by CDE’s regional manager for Australasia Daniel Webber, RW Corkery & Co managing director Mitchell Bland and Ecoroc principal Dugald Gray.

Quarry editor Damian Christie also conducted a panel Q&A to conclude the presentation.

Using the Greater Sydney Region (GSR) as a relevant example, Bland and Gray opened proceedings with a discussion about the region’s growth, revealing that the area is one of the top 10 fastest-growing regions in the western world.

By 2036, the GSR is expected to house an additional 1.7 million people, providing significant demands for construction materials.

Gray said that Sydney demands about 40 million tonnes per year of construction materials and of this volume, 42 per cent came from substitute construction materials such as VENM and sandstone.

“These materials essentially, as best as we can understand, really replace road based, sub-based, hard sand materials and any materials that might be used to fill voids,” Gray said.

“They’re used in large quantities, they’re low value, they’re generated within the city, and from a sustainability perspective they’re fantastic – what a great thing for Sydney. Other cities which may be built on mud or clay don’t have that option.

“As a consequence, what that allows for is hard rock quarries to maximise the yield of aggregates they produce for concrete or asphalt.”

Further discussion centred around the sand resources available to New South Wales and the quality of these resources.

Bland indicated that there are, however, multiple obstacles to accessing and distributing such resources which need to be overcome for Sydney to realise its full growth potential.

For more information and to watch the presentation in full, scroll down:



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