Regulator upholds quarry rehabilitation standards

Earth Resources Regulation has taken action to ensure community safety at quarries is delivered to the highest standard

Earth Resources Regulation has taken action to ensure community safety at quarries is delivered to the highest standard.

The regulator has refused a work plan variation that would have allowed Hanson Construction Materials Pty Ltd to reduce the rehabilitation requirements at its former Harkaway quarry.

The hard rock quarry ceased operating in 2010 with no substantial rehabilitation work at the site since its closure. The central part of the site including the old quarry pit remains largely unrestored, with vertical rock faces exposed.

The work plan variation application failed to provide adequate site rehabilitation and was assessed by the regulator to pose an unacceptable public risk due to the ongoing hazard of rock fall.

High rehabilitation standards protect the wellbeing of future site users by creating a safe and stable environment.

A Notice has been issued to the company, requiring it to submit a report outlining how and when it will rehabilitate the former Harkaway quarry to the standard in its current work plan.

Earth Resources Regulation is also reviewing the rehabilitation bond for the quarry, which is currently set at $1.2 million.

Earth Resources Regulation regulates Victorian quarries, mines and petroleum sites to protect public safety and the environment.

From 1 July 2021, quarries must address new rehabilitation plan requirements when submitting applications for new or changed work plans.

Quotes attributable to Earth Resources Regulation’s Executive Director Anthony Hurst:

“When it comes to site rehabilitation operators are obliged to deliver restoration work to the required standard in order to protect the environment and future site users.”

“While most quarry operators do the right thing, we’ll step in and hold companies accountable if they seek to reduce rehabilitation standards.”

“Public confidence in the quarry sector and the jobs it creates depends on operators fulfilling their rehabilitation obligations and delivering safe environments at their former sites.”

Contact: Mark Farrugia

Phone: (03) 8392 6913