The Toowoomba Regional Council has narrowed its focus down to two strategies to rehabilitate the Bridge Street Quarry, with a preference for the ‘path of least resistance’.
The Toowoomba Regional Council’s Infrastructure Committee knocked six strategies down to two finalists in the road to rehabilitation, nine months after geotechnical analysis was performed at the dormant operation.
The 120-year-old basalt quarry has been the subject of numerous assessments in recent years, including one by KPMG in 2019, to investigate possible development options.
Committee chair Councillor Carol Taylor said the two strategies elected from the Rehabilitation Strategy Report were numbers one and four.
“In the Report, strategy four seeks to remove and address instability and risk areas associated with the Central Bench and associated faces by reducing the height of the central bench, to provide a flat even platform to allow for potential future development as appropriate. Material from this will be used to reprofile the Central Bench eastern face,” Taylor said.
“Strategy one considers the ‘path of least resistance’ to making the site stable, however, still requires significant material to be hauled into site. This strategy maintains the site in its current landform and focuses on installation of management techniques such as bunding and fencing.”
Council considered convenience and safety as the two major factors in narrowing down the six strategies, with the potential for tourism dollars a driving force in the project.
“This could be a tourist attraction that brings in visitors from all across Australia and internationally but before we get it to that point we need to rehabilitate the site,” Taylor said.
“The first step was initial safety works, including new fencing, and this has been followed by Council undertaking geotechnical investigations and design works for the rehabilitation of the site.”
The Council expects to receive the detailed design of the preferred rehabilitation strategies before the end of the March quarter, 2022, allowing time to consider funding in the 2022-23 Budget.