Rehabilitation on cards as risk is too high for the Monkland Quarry to be reopened, council says.
Rehabilitation on cards as risk is too high for the Monkland Quarry to be reopened, council says. Craig Warhurst

Asbestos-riddled quarry to be decommissioned

THE asbestos-riddled Monkland quarry will be decommissioned by Gympie Regional Council at a cost of $155,000 to eliminate its liability on the site.

The Monkland quarry, which the council operated at Laurenceson Rd for more than 30 years, was closed in August 2010 following a directive from the Mines Inspectorate.

Mayor Mick Curran said the council had the option to keep it running with safety regulations, but this was not practical.

"You can do test drills but if you're 200mm away from a naturally occurring seam and you do blasting, then it's going to be in the product and you can't use it,” he said.

The council also had a responsibility to the community's safety.

"We don't want to have asbestos fibre on our roads around the region as we all know how dangerous that can be,” he said.

When it was closed, tests of the site found asbestos concentrations in the crushed stockpiles ranged from 0-4.4 parts per million.

The average was 1.1 parts per million.

Soil samples from the 12 roads where pavement was sourced from the site were found to contain no asbestos.

Closure and rehabilitation work on the quarry is expected to take two to three years.

So far, about $100,000 of work on the site has been completed. This includes sealing the exposed asbestos seams with bitumen, sealing of the quarry floor, removal of loose rocks from the quarry walls and recovering slopes with grass.

Capping of the floor is at about 50 per cent and drainage works are also being completed on the site.

There is no long-term plan for the rehabilitated site at the moment.

Gympie Times


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