Hard knock back for Royalla hard rock quarry

3 June 2021

Breathing difficulties and threatened wildlife have been only some of the concerns that a proposed hard rock quarry has stirred up in the Royalla community during the past few weeks.

Local resident and Royalla Quarry Opposition spokesperson Caroline Bradly has had her asthma worsen since moving Royalla thanks to the silica dust emitted from the pre-existing Hanson quarry nearby.

“I’ve constantly lived with this fear of what this silica exposure is doing to my health,” Ms Bradly said, “It can scar the lungs and, after building up for a long time, cause cancer”.

The proposed hard rock quarry would be approximately five kilometres north of Royalla, towards Canberra, and only three kilometres away from the suburbs of Calwell and Theodore in the ACT.

Royalla is mostly in NSW but a small part of it lands in the ACT.

Monaro Rock – a conglomerate of Monaro Mix and Pacific Formwork – has proposed the quarry on the premise of supplying Canberra’s construction boom.

Infrastructure in the ACT will need to keep up with a projected population growth of almost 40 thousand people over the next ten years.

But Ms Bradly has refuted Monaro Rock’s proposition because there are already three hard rock quarries within a ten-kilometre radius of the proposed site.

“There’s also no need to put another quarry in… there’s more than 50 years of rock [already] serving the Canberra region”, Ms Bradly said.

The first the Ngambri Local Aboriginal Land Council heard about the proposed quarry was when the Royalla Quarry Opposition contacted them about it a couple of weeks ago.

There had not yet been any word from Monaro Rock on heritage matters.

Royalla Quarry Opposition was also concerned about vulnerable flora and fauna in the area such as the critically endangered pink-tailed legless lizard and box-gum grassy woodland.

They were worried that the quarry would destroy precious habitat that in itself was precarious but also has provided a home to many other endangered and declining animal species.

Australia already has had one of the worse global track records for extinction and protecting endangered wildlife.

The member for Monaro John Barilaro has said he has reached out to NSW Minister for Planning Rob Stokes, and Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council CEO Peter Tegart in a bid to gain a better understanding of the project.

“John has spoken with residents and shares their concerns about the potential impacts this proposal could have on them and the community,” a spokesperson for the office of John Barilaro said.

Monaro Rock was contacted on numerous occasions but did not respond to requests for comment. 

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