Quarry faces scrutiny over unfinished rehabilitation

INDUSTRY regulator Resources Victoria has stopped a quarry operator in northern Victoria from abandoning its site.

Legislation in Victoria specifies that rehabilitation is the final stage of quarrying. While a quarry operator can apply to surrender their Work Authority once extraction is complete, this can only be approved once their rehabilitation obligations have been met and the land is fully restored as specified by the site’s Work Pan.

An operator of a quarry located between Shepparton and Yarrawonga recently applied to surrender its Work Authority. However, Resources Victoria said a site visit found rehabilitation incomplete due to the excessive slope of the quarry pit, missing topsoil and vegetation, excessive weeds and erosion. The application to surrender the quarry’s Work Authority has been denied.

Resources Victoria CEO Matt Vincent said, “Staff from our Earth Resources Regulator regularly visit quarries to ensure they are meeting their obligations and doing the right thing.”

“Rehabilitation is an important part of the quarrying life cycle, if it’s not done properly then the costs can fall to the state – which is unacceptable.”

“Once quarries are rehabilitated, they can become community assets, lots of parks across the state where once use to extract rock or sand.”

Rigorous planning is required to run a quarry and operators must meet their obligations, including site rehabilitation. Resources Victoria did not name the site but said it will continue to be closely monitored to ensure it is properly restored.