Parents and teachers fear health impacts of Ross Trust quarry
The Australian Education Union and local parents are calling on a prominent Victorian charity to withdraw its plans to build a massive quarry on the Mornington Peninsula close to schools and childcare.
122 doctors have signed an open letter outlining their concerns about potential health impacts of dust and fine particulate matter from the quarry landing in the surrounding area. The open letter, published in The Age newspaper on October 25, calls on a philanthropic trust, The Ross Trust, to withdraw its plans to open a new quarry on Arthurs Seat.
The boundary of The Ross Trust’s proposed quarry site is just 800m from local primary school, Red Hill Consolidated School, and 850m from an early learning centre. Other schools are near the quarry site: Dromana Secondary College is within 1.6km, Peninsula Specialist College is within 1.7km and Red Hill Preschool is within 1.8km.
Australian Education Union Peninsula-Frankston region president Robert Last said,
“We don’t believe it’s OK to put the health of children and staff at risk. We should be following the health advice of doctors. A giant quarry so close to schools and childcare doesn’t pass the pub test.”
The AEU Peninsula-Frankston Region recently passed a resolution opposing the proposed quarry.
Local mother Emma Haley said,
“Like many families in our community, my husband and I have young children attending Red Hill Consolidated School and the local childcare centre, both of which are less than 1km away from the proposed site of the granite quarry. We also plan on sending our children to Dromana Secondary College, which is located just 1.6km from the site.
“Having read the health letter signed by 122 doctors, I was horrified to learn of the damaging effects that can be caused by granite dust. I am extremely concerned about the potential health risks that my children could be exposed to from having such a massive quarry in such close proximity to their school and childcare centre."
Elizabeth Dodd, a local mother of three, said,
“If there’s even the slightest risk that children could get sick from this new quarry, the proposal should be pulled immediately.”
Ms Dodd added,
“If the Ross Trust truly cares for the community, they won’t let this mine go ahead.”
The Ross Trust’s new quarry proposal has already drawn major criticism from leaders in the philanthropic, environmental and business sectors on environmental grounds. Additionally more than 80,000 people have signed a Save Arthurs Seat change.org petition opposing the new quarry.