Hanson Quarry Expansion Plans Revealed
It is very disturbing to see Hanson sneakily placing its public notification of expansion where no member of the public would normally see it - such as on quarry- only roads and on a public road that has been gated and locked to the public by Council officers. This is shameful behaviour and debunks Hanson's public persona of working positively with its community. What have they got to hide?
In response to this and growing discontent about ongoing dubious quarry practices the community has started to demand that quarry companies be forced to do what is required of them in their development orders. This is also a community demand of State Government and Gold Coast City Council - do the job and properly police these controls!
In order to force quarries to mitigate their dangerous dust output, the community is specifically pushing for modern dust monitoring stations to be established downwind from all the quarries in the Darlington Range. This will provide cumulative data (against ambient levels) and will give transparent reports on quarry activities (and eventually from any other polluting industry that are allowed to establish upwind from the Yatala and Ormeau communities). Under the Council's/State Government's call that "every application must be treated on it's merit", it should be the highest priority to establish a series of monitoring stations similar to what has been installed in the Springwood area.
Note 1: Hanson used Spiringwood's 2010 data in their recent expansion application. Why? Our area has very different characteristics to Springwood.
Note 2: The Springwood data does not definitively show the respirable silica proportion or the asbestos type component of the dust particles being reported. If the data collected included this then it would demonstrate that penicious fine dust particles are maybe over the safety limits used in Victoria and most other countries in the world (also used by the QLD Government when assessing the Mt Cotton quarry).
What is particularly disturbing is that Hanson's laboratory analysis of sample rock from their quarry contained 37% silica or glass. These micro shards of glass, unlike the rounded silica sand found on a beach, are bad for the respiratory system over a period of time. Hanson are effectively admitting they are releasing into the surrounding community and environment approx 12,000kgs of fine silica dust which will be breathed in and embedded deep in people's lungs (and in wild and domestic animals).
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YRA is assisting QDOS in monitoring the amount and makeup of dust released from all local quarries. YRA will continue to educate the community about health implications from dust and noxious odour fro local industries. Quarries and noxious plants have signed development orders where clauses specifically demand that dust and stink not escape beyond their boundaries. Clearly this legal undertaking is being breached. YRA is demanding that quarries simply fulfil their obligations which they signed up to and is asking quarries to take their moral and legal responsibilities seriously instead of claiming that there is no problem when clearly there is becasue they are not fulfilling their obligations. If there was little or no dust or smell then the community would not be complaining.
Its extraordinary that quarry companies spend so much money on marketing hype trying to show they are caring corporate citizens. Local quarries have spent up big on local "community" projects yet keep disregarding many of their responsibilities as prescribed in controls found in their development orders. Instead of using their money where it should be spent (to mitigate negative fallout, such as dust, from their ever growing quarries which they are required to do), quarries appear to continue to cut corners and push development boundaries to the limit, all in the name of economic development, profitability and improved shareholder returns.