Council uses locally sourced gravel to construct and maintain more than 3,000 kilometres of local roads and bridges. Council has traditionally sourced the majority of its gravel from council-owned gravel pits which has proven to be a cost-effective way to maintain the road network. A further reduction in the cost of building and maintaining roads was found by establishing gravel pits strategically across the shire. This significantly reduces cartage costs, one of the biggest expenses associated with capital projects.
The Northern Grampians Shire Council’s Mine Lane quarry in Carapooee is nearing the end of its life. The site, which supplies gravel for road construction projects, no longer has the capacity to meet demand. The supply of gravel at the quarry is nearly exhausted and rehabilitation has commenced in some sections.
In the search for a suitable new gravel quarry, initial testing was carried out at a site on Stuart Mill Low Road, Carapooee in 2015. A large resource was located at the site and Council proceeded to apply for a planning permit in September of this year to undertake a small sample extraction. The extraction would allow for a sample of gravel from the site to be tested on local road projects identified in this year’s capital works program. The size of the sample pit is less than a hectare and less than two metres deep, as per the Victorian Government’s earth resources regulations for a small quarry. If a planning permit for the small sample quarry is approved and the gravel use trial proves effective, preparations would then be made to establish a larger pit at the site. For a large quarry to commence on the site a work authority would need to be obtained from the Victorian Government and a further council planning permit would be required.