Sites North Central Quarry For the record
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North Central Quarry will be located immediately to the west of Spring Hill, below the contour RL330 to protect the landscape value of the area as requested by Mitchell Shire Council.
Conundrum prides itself on its ability to blend its sites into the surrounding environment, mitigating visual impact of a site upon the surrounding land considering community uses. A wide range of measures were taken in the original design of the site concerning site extents and orientation, access road positioning, and building and plant heights.
The quarry’s design is the cumulation of Conundrum’s many years of experience, supported by consultants skilled in pit design and vegetation selection, and cross checked through 3D modelling. These measures will be part of the businesses’ continuous improvement model seeing modifications made throughout the working life of the quarry to respond to issues identified by employees and our community.
Melbourne’s north has a proud history of providing the literal ‘bedrock’ of Melbourne’s past and present as close as possible to the community – and this new site 20km north of the existing quarry will continue that tradition into the future.
After surveying over 500,000 hectares this UNIQUE site presents a once-only opportunity for local industry to access a vital and strategic resource that is diminishing right now.
This site is ideally suited (and almost impossible to replicate) as:
North Central Quarry’s entrance will intersect directly onto the Northern Highway.
All traffic will have to use a purpose-built, sealed and signalised access road that will provide the safest and most direct route to the nearby Northern Highway and Hume Freeway, both part of the HML Arterial Road System meaning they are built to withstand heavy vehicles. No shire roads are proposed as part of the access route.
Sales (when on-road trucks attend the site) is limited to 6am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 7am to noon on Saturday. Work outside of these hours (say to support a major road project) will require government permission and would only be for short periods.
North Central Quarry is projected to introduce 50 to 60 truck trips (100 to 120 truck movements) per day over the first decade with the vast majority heading to or from Melbourne. Presently the Northern Highway carries approximately 21,500 vehicles per day.
Our customers require quarry materials in the early part of the day with over 85% of truck movements concluded before 2pm and avoiding the PM peak.
As a community we need to meet our social responsibilities with respect to climate and carbon footprint, and minimising the costs for future generations. This site will assist by utilising those basalt resources as close as practical to the end user.
On top of that, we understand the construction of the Watson Street diamond interchange has been announced by the Hon. Alan Tudge on August 4, 2020 with $50 million of federal funding being made available.
No! Blasting is an operational process requiring significant regulatory and administrative controls during loading and firing, and as such occurs infrequently. We expect in the order of 16-29 blasts per year or twice a month. The nominated times are to ensure we can respond safely to weather, explosives supply chain and onsite conditions.
Blast duration, including safety sirens, is only a few minutes and is completely self-contained within the site. Please see the video right which shows a recent blast.
With long term experience in blasting, Conundrum Holdings has highly skilled technicians who conduct the exercise in a controlled manner. Conundrum has also committed to profiling, line boring, recording by video and monitoring for air blast overpressure and ground vibration for all shots.
Like all quarrying work, this process is heavily regulated by WorkSafe and Earth Resources Regulation with records available to them at all times.
We are very proud of, and passionate about, our long held safety and compliance record.
There has been no detectable levels of crystalline silica present in the samples analysed.
The most common form of crystalline silica is quartz, which is commonly found as a late crystallizing mineral in igneous rocks forming from magmas with a high silicon dioxide content. Basalts are formed from magmas with a low silicon dioxide content and in general contain no or very small amounts of quartz. If the mineral olivine is present in the basalt then there will be no primary quartz present. The vast majority of Melbourne and most Victorian basalts contain olivine.
On the 9th July 2014 Bell Cochrane & Associates undertook a petrographic examination of 30 thin sections of diamond drill core samples taken from the proposed North Central Quarry site in Wallan. There was no crystalline silica present in any of the 30 samples examined under the microscope which confirmed there would be no risk of silicosis due to quartz (crystalline silica) from the basalts at this site.
Work SAFE Victoria in their Dust containing crystalline silica in the extractive industry states that crystalline silica (quartz) is found in stone products such as reconstituted stone, granite and sandstone. WorkSAFE Victoria does not list basalt. Safe Work Australia’s Adopted National Exposure Standards for Atmospheric Contaminants in the Occupational Environment also does not list basalt as an atmospheric contaminant, e.g a hazardous substance.
The current and future communities, and wind and environmental factors were analysed during the site’s design, with the noise and dust reports demonstrating compliance.
The nearest quarry face to housing is nearly TWO KILOMETRES away from residential areas – substantially exceeding the EPA recommended 500m separation distance. The wind and environmental factors were assessed during the site’s design, and the noise and dust reports demonstrate compliance.
As quarries naturally generate a certain level of dust and noise impacts, established quarry operators have developed specific techniques to manage their impacts to a contextually suitable level. As committed to in the Work Plan and tested in the Dust Impact Assessment, the following dust control via design and management practice will be undertaken:
Incorrect. The application states there are 19 “FTE”. This refers to Full Time Equivalents and is an accepted method of analysing full time, part time, casual employees and contractors.
Staffing will vary according to the level of activity, but will involve administration, winning, processing, regulatory compliance, ongoing maintenance and material testing. At times it will include additional staff when stripping, drilling, shot loading, high production, major maintenance and rehabilitation.
Further economic opportunities and indirect employment will arise in on-road truck companies, the sector’s suppliers being both on-site contractors and off-site support (i.e. manufacturing Australian conveyor belts and pulleys; steel and construction specialists; earthmoving equipment sales and maintenance) and customers (i.e. road construction and maintenance, earthmovers, concrete plants, builders, plumbers, garden supplies, sporting facilities).
North Central Quarry will replace the natural stone produced by our existing Northern Quarries ensuring the ongoing development of highly specialised jobs in the wider community. Our employment numbers will further increase as the interlinked head office, concrete plant and transport depot come online in the Mitchell Shire. We will need to increase our direct employment numbers – ideally from those close to the site.
No. This a temporary land use, and the site’s legacy will see it transition to parkland and residential land, integrating into the broader development.
The site has already been deemed ‘not for waste’ and will be rehabilitated and beautified adding value to the area and a wonderful parkland legacy. This is the natural and best-use lifecycle of the land right now with PSP housing still decades away from the site.
Now…………..Clearly green rural farmland
Soon………….Short term quarry
Then………….Beautification and rehabilitation
Permanent..Housing in keeping with known PSP timelines
Legacy……….Site maximised, multiple uses, homes & families
All land within the Melbourne Strategic Assessment, whether it is quarry or residential development, needs to provide cash contributions to the state government to contribute to biodiversity offsets. The quarry land is designated to contribute towards the Golden Sun Moth levy. It does not necessarily mean that species is present.