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Quarries adopt their own code

Updated: Sep 3, 2019

From 'The Star' Thursday August 29 2019

Quarry operators in the greater Christchurch area have developed a new voluntary code of practice.

The code has been developed by Fulton Hogan, Road metals, Isaac Construction, Christchurch Ready Mix, Concrete and Winstones, in consultation with other Canterbury quarries and with Environment Canterbury and the city council.

It comes as Fulton Hogan faces major public opposition to build a quarry between Templeton and Weedons.

Murray Francis, the managing director of Road Metals, which has its Canterbury quarries at Yaldhurst, Waimakariri and Rolleston, said the new code is designed to address community concerns about quarrying activities. He said it will provide reassurance to communities and to quarry staff that every effort will be made to reduce effects such as noise and dust.

Mr Francis said it shows quarry operators in the greater Christchurch region want to work with communities and councils to find sustainable solutions to environmental issues.

"The code addresses wider community concerns by promoting minimum and best practices as well as longer term goals in quarry management across such issues as dust, air and water quality and vehicle movements."

But a key opponent of the planned Fulton Hogan quarry between Templeton and Weedons is sceptical of the code.

Weedons Residents Association Committee member Simon Moore said that more compulsory measures are needed.

"It's a bit like if you get caught drink driving and you want to get a lower penalty so you go and book yourself into a defensive driving course voluntarily and the judge goes 'wow, that's great'" he said.

Mr Francis said quarries need to become more active in their communities.

Recently, Road Metals opened up its Rolleston quarry to the public with nearly 1,000 people taking the opportunity to come and have a look.

"Quarries provide the foundation of every road and building. We are an essential industry and our new code of practice shows we are prepared to step up and prove we are also a responsible industry. "

Aggregate and Quarry Association chief executive Wayne Scott said he is unaware of quarry operators in any other region in new Zealand having developed their own regional code of practice.

"I'm sure it will be watched closely; if the Canterbury industry, councils and communities all see improvements, then such codes may become a model for other regions."

Mr Scott said it will also help councils and communities when it comes to forming conditions for quarry resource consents or input into wider plans.

"If a quarry is not meeting the industry's own code, it would have to be less likely to get a renewal or a new consent. if it has delivered at best practice, you'd have to think that would be recognised."

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