GRANTVILLE residents will be appalled at the scale of the open cut sand mine that is at risk of being approved right on their doorsteps.
Dandy Premix’s application to expand its Grantville mine drew 73 objections from local residents and others before it was called in by the Planning Minister, Richard Wynne. The Planning Panel hearing of the application, which will provide advice to the Minister, began last Monday and will continue into next week.
The maps we’ve seen as part of this panel process show the immensity of this pit, more than 1.2 kilometres across. Its potential impact on the amenity of this quiet coastal community is truly horrifying.
This site, and the adjacent Holcim site, and the expansion of other mines north, south and east of Grantville are turning this beautiful part of the Western Port shoreline and coastal forest into a giant ugly, dusty hole.
How many are aware of the heavy metals and poisons that are produced as part of sand processing? Dandy Premix proposes to dispose of heavy metals (and residual coagulants and flocculants) into the ‘dredge pond’.
We are very concerned that the responsible authority here, the Victorian Earth Resources Regulator, has short-cut its legal responsibilities in endorsing the planned expansion without the proper risk assessment on heavy metals required by the ground water authority, Southern Rural Water.
The rights of Victorians are being compromised, it would appear, by a very cosy cabal of miners, the regulator and the Minister.
The Save Western Port Woodlands group of local residents argues that ripping out high-value forests – and with them groves of grass trees, endangered orchids and wildlife – for low-value sand for bridges and carparks for Melbourne is simply plundering regional Victoria for the convenience of Melbourne.
“This city-centric view of Government, not caring what environmental and community damage these policies are doing to regional Victoria, is a disgrace. This isn’t Brazil, we should not be plundering and ripping out forest.
We should not be dropping heavy metals and poisons anywhere near local communities, and anywhere near Ramsar Wetlands. We call on this Panel, and on Minister Richard Wynne, to curb this vandalism, to throw this application out.
We also call on Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio to properly protect and secure this coastal forest corridor - the last remaining forest in the Bass Coast region. The reserves and high-value forests and habitat that haven’t been gazetted are being eaten into right now.
North to south, it should be immediately secured as a Flora and Fauna Reserve. The Minister for the Environment must enter this battle for this fragile coastal forest ecosystem.”
Tim O’Brien presented at the panel hearing into the Dandy Premix applications as a representative of Save Western Port Woodlands.