Attendees of an online community meeting about a proposed quarry south of Wallan were told to unite and present a community voice to rally State Government politicians.
Mitchell Shire Council organised the community meeting on Thursday night, originally set to be in person but changed to online due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The meeting attracted 116 attendees, with the majority opposing the quarry according to an online questionnaire.
Questions from attendees concerned a range of issues including traffic, land values, health and environment.
Council said questions would be taken on notice.
Speakers at the meeting were council chief executive Brett Luxford, Cr Rob Eldridge, council’s strategic planning and economy manager Travis Conway, council’s advocacy and communities director Mary Agostino and resident Megan who supplied a pre-recorded video.
Mr Luxford told the meeting the quarry issue was ‘out of council hands now’ after the council had twice rejected planning permits.
The applicant for the project, Conundrum Holdings, took the matter to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, but Planning Minister Richard Wynne ‘called in’ both the quarry application and Beveridge North West Plan, where the proposed quarry will sit.
Mr Luxford told the meeting that it was just ‘the start of the journey’ and there was much more work to do, calling for the community to take action.
Cr Eldridge said the quarry application had ‘no redeeming features whatsoever’.
He said the amount of employment at the quarry was not enough to justify approving the application.
“This is not about jobs, it’s about amenity and lifestyle,” he said.
Cr Eldrige said he was ‘dumbfounded’ the quarry was proposed to go between two growing communities, and near existing housing.
He said the ‘single most likely success factor’ was a strong community voice, and empowered residents to lobby local politicians and tell them the impact a quarry would have.
Resident Megan, surname not supplied, said she was a long-time resident and had just bought property in Wallan.
She spoke about there being a negative impact on the community, including blasts, structural damage, health issues from dust, noise pollution, detrimental effect on roads by trucks transporting quarry product, traffic banked up to the Hume Freeway, threats to the golden sun moth and other wildlife, damage to flora and fauna and a drop in land prices.
“We don’t need or want a quarry,” she said.
Mr Conway highlighted the planning process and said it was a ‘long complex process’ and one of the biggest ‘issues council faces’.
He said council was waiting for ministerial advisory committee to hand down the terms of reference, before a committee hearing took place, likely to be in early 2022.
The committee will then make a recommendation and before the Planning Minister makes a final decision.
The council asked attendees to join a community advocacy working group to design and organise a campaign, either by phoning Rebecca at council on 5734 6200 or email
Condundrum Holdings declined to comment on the meeting.
The land where the quarry is proposed is owned by Wally Mott, owner of the Review.