A map showing where the proposed quarry will be located.

MITCHELL Shire councillors labelled a proposed quarry south of Wallan a ‘planning monstrosity’ during last week’s council meeting as they approved a submission to a ministerial advisory committee considering the issue.

Councillors were unanimous in their condemnation of the proposed quarry as they ticked off a formal submission to the Victorian Planning Authority, VPA, concerning planning scheme amendments C158 and C161 to the Beveridge North West Precinct Structure Plan, PSP, that, if implemented, would allow the quarry to proceed.

The ministerial advisory committee will consider both amendments starting in May and will make a recommendation to Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne, who has final say on the plans.

Cr Rob Eldridge said council’s 31-page submission outlined numerous reasons why a quarry should not proceed.

“The quarry may have many financial, physical, environmental and social impacts, which are detrimental to the health and wellbeing of future residents in the area,” he said.

“Our submission is around the overall negative impacts of the quarry on infrastructure, quality of life, our ability to fund the delivery of the infrastructure in a timely way and basically making the whole of that precinct unattainable while the quarry is there.

“The staff have done a great job on this and they’ve been leading the charge with an advocacy group opposing the quarry.

“There are no good points to this quarry. There are so many negatives with this it is beggars belief.”

Cr Bob Cornish said multiple experts had made submissions to a previous independent planning panel that there would be a cost of between $800 million and $1 billion in the form of delayed investment in the Beveridge North West area if the quarry proceeded.

Cr Cornish said there was ‘no rational economic basis’ for supporting a quarry given other supplies of basalt in neighbouring regions, including the Shenstone Park PSP.

A map showing where the proposed quarry will be located.

Cr Nathan Clark said the timing of the quarry proposal was inappropriate given a forecasted population boom in the Beveridge and Wallan areas during the next 20 years.

“I wonder if when we consider a quarry, the right time for it was 30 years ago and it should be coming to the end of its life now,” he said.

“Then we’d be looking at reintegrating it into the proposed development that has been put forward and planned for by both the State Government and Mitchell [Shire Council].”

Cr Annie Goble said a Shenstone Park PSP panel hearing showed there were ‘tens of millions of tonnes of basalt supply’ north of Melbourne, rendering the need for a quarry in the Beveridge North West PSP redundant.

“I hope we can adequately represent the absurdity of this to the ministerial advisory committee and that they will present sensible advice, which I think would align with our council view, to the minister,” she said.

Cr Rhonda Sanderson said the quarry proposal presented a binary choice to the advisory committee.

“To me it’s a clear choice: it’s either community or rock – one or the other,” she said.

While most of the submission centred on the proposed quarry, other topics included future plans for Burrung Buluk, formerly known as Hanna Swamp, and the future of Old Sydney Road and other infrastructure projects.

People can read the submission in the minutes of council’s meeting by visiting www.mitchellshire.vic.gov.au/about-council/council-meetings/agendas-and-minutes.