In preparing the resource consent applications for the proposed Roydon Quarry, Fulton Hogan has carried out extensive consultation with the community. The company wanted to hear any concerns locals might have, understand those concerns and respond.
Fulton Hogan’s South Island General Manager Craig Stewart says “we want to be a good neighbour” in the community and be an environmentally and socially responsible company.
“We now talk about a social licence to operate, and this means going beyond compliance. We want to be environmentally responsible in the community and contribute with some beneficial outcomes.”
Fulton Hogan formed a Community Advisory Group (CAG) in June 2018, and met over a period of several months to talk about those issues which were at the fore-front for the community.
Fulton Hogan also met with local Residents Associations and maintained a drop-in centre on the proposed site.
A number of themes emerged from the consultation process, around traffic, air quality, ground-water and site rehabilitation.
A key concern of participants was where trucks would travel once leaving the quarry site, including whether they would travel through the Templeton township. In response to these concerns Fulton Hogan has proposed a detailed series of access and road upgrades to accomodate the vehicle movements from the site which sees the vast majority (90%) of movements leaving the site and heading to Main South Road.
Additionally, to address intersection limitations and to improve safety at the Dawsons Road/Jones Road intersection, Fulton Hogan has proposed a roundabout and following the engagement sessions late last year and further technical assessment, has refined this roundabout design further.
Craig Stewart says the idea is to “take trucks off local roads” in the area and not have them travel through the Templeton township unless they specifically had a delivery to drop off there.
One of the other key concerns was around air quality. Fulton Hogan has again listened to the concerns and key measures are going to be used on the site to monitor and suppress any dust.
Another modern measure successfully used on other Fulton Hogan sites is the use of field conveyors for aggregate transport, from the extraction area to the site processing area, limiting internal vehicle movements and maintaining buffers from site boundaries. For the proposed Roydon Quarry, the setbacks have been set at half a kilometre for the central aggregate processing area and at least 250m for any mobile processing plant. Dust suppression measures will be used for these operations.
With regard to groundwater, local down-gradient bore users were concerned that water they used for drinking and stock supply could be affected by quarry operations and associated back-filling.
Fulton Hogan is committed to not extracting below 1m below the seasonal high groundwater level on the proposed quarry site and ensuring that any back-fill is clean-fill only. Water level and quality monitoring has been on-going for the previous 12 months and will continue. Additionally, Fulton Hogan is not proposing to increase take volumes beyond that provided for by the site’s current irrigation consent.
Templeton locals asked during the community engagement days last November what could be done around the quarry site, to enhance the look of it and to add benefits for the community.
Craig Stewart says there is potential for a walking track on the outside of the site around the perimeter which could be planted with native trees and bushes increasing the local biodiversity and be something the community could all use. This proposed walking track was included within the visual and landscape assessment submitted with the resource consent applications.
“We are really trying to listen to the community and respond as we can to any concerns they have in our consent applications and over the past few months we have done just that. We will continue to engage, and listen and answer questions as that is the socially responsible thing to do.”