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Councillors recently discussed with the Queensland Government the findings of the feasibility study report on the disused Bridge Street Quarry in Toowoomba (pictured).
Councillors recently discussed with the Queensland Government the findings of the feasibility study report on the disused Bridge Street Quarry in Toowoomba (pictured).

Cabinet, council mull over quarry project

A feasibility study to upgrade a century-old disused quarry was discussed by Queensland Government cabinet ministers when they visited Toowoomba in mid-September.

Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio brought up the “upgrade of the quarry gardens among a list a projects” he discussed with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, a council spokesman said.

Antonio is expected to further lobby the Palaszczuk Government for state funding ahead of the 2020 state election and also look at private sector funding to take the project to its logical conclusion.

The Bridge Street Quarry Redevelopment feasibility study was carried out by KPMG and sub-consultants Urbis and Ecoroc (specialist quarry consultants to KPMG), and handed over at a councillor information session.


“Council’s infrastructure committee approved the high priority public health and safety access works for an estimated cost of $350,000. Council would fund the projects from the Quarry Rehabilitation Reserve with works to be undertaken as soon as practical.”
Carol Taylor, Deputy Mayor, Toowoomba Council

“The report to council had four options - to do nothing, to do a bit, to do a bit more and to go the whole hog,” the spokesman said, adding that estimates were only provided for the ‘do a bit’ option.

The spokesman said estimates were given to “fence in the area to make it safe” and “restrict it from public use”. It was also suggested the quarry could be joined to a bike park and redeveloped as a garden.

The work involved geotechnical assessment of the quarry workings to establish risk-based remedial and protective measures for public safety.

Masterplan for redevelopment

In addition to the feasibility report, a masterplan identifying stages of redevelopment was also submitted for council’s consideration and decision.

Deputy Mayor Carol Taylor said immediate rectification works were recommended to mitigate and prevent unauthorised access to the site, flowing from the ‘hazard identification and risk mitigation’ investigation.

Taylor, who is the chair of the council’s infrastructure committee, said councillors requested an urgent investigation of these options to install new fencing and upgrade the entrance to the quarry.

“Council’s infrastructure committee approved the high priority public health and safety access works for an estimated cost of $350,000. Council would fund the projects from the Quarry Rehabilitation Reserve with works to be undertaken as soon as practical,” Taylor said.

The Toowoomba Regional Council’s ordinary meeting was set to grant approval for the fencing.
“The expenditure ensures council meets its obligations under Section 61 (responsibility for protecting abandoned mines) of the Mining and Quarrying Safety and Health Act 1999 to ensure that the site is secure,” Taylor said.

Cabinet meeting

Premier Palaszczuk last year granted council and the Friends of the Quarry Gardens a $250,000 Queensland Government-funded feasibility study to decide the best future development of the Bridge Street Quarry.

Palaszczuk made good on her promise to bring her cabinet to govern from Toowoomba when they visited the region and met with councillors recently and were briefed on the latest report.

During an international trade mission to New Zealand months ago, Antonio met with the Whangarei Quarry Gardens Trust – which presides over the 25ha community garden project created in a disused stone quarry – and said it had “strong alignment with our own ambitions for the Bridge Street Quarry”.

“A project like the Bridge Street Quarry redevelopment is too important to get wrong and mistakes in the development of such a proposal would only cost the community.  This visit provided council with the opportunity to learn from the people directly involved in creating the gardens from its inception 20 years ago,” Antonio said after the visit.


More reading
Trade mission highlights gardens project
Quarry Gardens plan revived after decade in wilderness
International experts consult on Toowoomba gardens project
Quarry pitched as tourist attraction
 



















Monday, 10 December, 2018 10:42pm
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