SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council candidate Mat Morgan says the expansion of Lavers Hill quarry into the Battery Creek water catchment area “is a disaster waiting to happen”.

Mat said South Gippsland Shire Council had rezoned the whole area of Lavers Hill, which was more than 50Ha, approving a future quarry on the hill, beginning with expanding into the Battery Creek catchment area.

“Lavers Hill sits directly above Battery Creek, Fish Creek’s only water supply. The hills are actively uplifted ancient marine rocks which are at high risk of landslips, there have been three of recent significance. Many will remember the large landslip on Bill Williams’ property in the winter of 1991 that shut Fish Creek’s water supply,” he said.

“South Gippsland Shire Council, Landcare groups, the Scouts and landowners have contributed over a million dollars of funds and labour to revegetate Lavers Hill over the last two decades in a bid to stabilise the land above Battery Creek water catchment and provide a biolink for Strzelecki lyrebirds.

“The small quarry at the top of Lavers Hill is at the end of its 30-year life.”

Mat says it was now time for South Gippsland Shire Council to involve the community and review the uses for the Public Use-zoned land.

In a speech published on his Facebook page, Mat Morgan said: “The state government-appointed administrators approved this quarry expansion into Fish Creek’s only water supply without any adequate environmental assessment or community consultation.

“Public documents show the council will make a measly $14,000 a year from the lease, after they and Landcare previously invested over $1m into revegetating this land.

“Now we’re going to bulldoze it all for $14,000 a year, for a rock that council states is non-essential, and is already is being sourced in plenty of nearby areas, that aren’t putting Fish Creek’s water supply and threatened species at risk.

“If this goes ahead, there is a massive risk of landslips shutting off Fish Creek’s water supply once again. Lyrebirds will once again be isolated at Waratah Bay and Foster North. We’ll have trucks and machinery roaring past Fish Creek Primary School every day, and we will be undoing millions of dollars’ worth of investment in revegetation in a climate emergency.”

If Mat is elected in the Coastal Promontory Ward, he said would call for an “immediate review and initiate community input into the best future uses of this public land”.