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Adjournment: Wallan quarry

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Samantha Ratnam
Leader of the Victorian Greens
9 June 2022

My adjournment matter tonight is for the Minister for Planning, and the action I seek is that he reject the planning permit for a new quarry near Beveridge and Wallan. I was delighted this week to meet with members of the Mitchell Shire Council and local Wallan and Beveridge communities on the steps of Parliament. The group travelled down to Melbourne to present a petition to this Parliament calling for the government to reject plans for a quarry to be built near Beveridge and Wallan.

Planning is currently underway for the new Beveridge North West precinct, which when completed will include more than 80 hectares of parklands and sporting fields, seven future school sites, four local town centres and approximately 16 000 new homes—and also a quarry within 1 kilometre of residential development. Mitchell Shire Council has twice rejected a planning application for a quarry. The quarry was not included in the original precinct structure plan (PSP) and appears to have been brought in at the last minute to assuage concerns that the small amount of rock available at the site would be lost if the land were developed.

Beveridge and Wallan residents are outraged. They have repeatedly raised concerns about the impacts of the quarry, which will be felt by the community for more than 30 years. The community has highlighted their concerns around the significant dust and noise pollution that would be caused by the quarry, the health impacts of living so close to a quarry, the traffic chaos heavy trucks would create on already busy roads and of course catchment and water table pollution. The quarry would be located adjacent to the Burrung Buluk wetlands and swamp, which the PSP suggests will be rehabilitated and restored as part of the precinct planning but totally fails to consider the impacts an adjacent quarry would have on this rehabilitation. The quarry will also have significant downstream impacts on the Merri Creek, which is already at risk from the urban development along the creek corridor.

The community are making their voice heard, with over 1000 submissions to the planning panel, a well-attended community forum and the petition they presented to us this week. Yet with the responsible minister about to retire and the local member due to change due to electoral redistribution, they feel that the government has successfully passed the buck and is set to allow the quarry to go ahead without anyone having to take responsibility for it. The minister has an opportunity to intervene on behalf of the community to protect the health and wellbeing of the Wallan and Beveridge communities and the local environment. I echo the voices of the community and ask the minister to reject the proposed quarry permit.

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Samantha Ratnam
Leader of the Victorian Greens
9 June 2022
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