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Quarry to park By Cam Lucadou-Wells
Right: Syd Pargeter is making a concerted push for the creation of ’Harkaway Water Park’. Harkaway riders Megan Joyce on La Lanie and Tom Saddler on Flint outside the disused quarry. 165477
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“As everything develops around us, we have to retain these areas.” Rosalie Counsell, a member of Green Wedges Coalition and Save the Casey Foothills Association, also supported the idea. Councillor Rosalie Crestani said the vision had great merit, subject to
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According to a Casey Council landscape assessment of the Casey foothills area in 2014, the quarry had low landscape value compared to Lysterfield Lake due to its manmade “desolation”. However, there was potential for its “rugged” topography to be a “potentially valued area”.
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negotiations between Casey Council and Hanson about the site’s handover. “I’d love to see that site used for a community area and to apply a treatment like Wilson Botanic Park.” Cr Crestani said the prospect of a recycling facility on the site was “not on the table”.
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the quarry had been desired for 30 years. It would provide an increasingly rare off-road horse-riding track, shared by mountain-bikers and walkers. “The equestrian community’s access to riding areas is diminishing.
City of Berwick former mayor Syd Pargeter describes it as possibly his last campaign for the public good. The 88-year-old has been hitting the phones on a daily basis to restore a disused Harkaway quarry to a spectacular park. The basalt quarry, owned and run by Hanson Quarries, has ceased operation for several years. Despite being fenced off, the quarry - which has become a lake surrounded by stark mining excavations - had become a “magnet” for dumping cars and rubbish and “lawlessness”, Mr Pargeter said. He also worries for the safety of young people ‘bombing’ from cliffs into the lake despite submerged cars and sheet metal lurking in the waters. Mr Pargeter said the ‘Harkaway Water Park’ could include an equestrian trail linking Noack and King roads, a landscaped artesian lake for deep divers and a last-resort fire refuge. The park - which Mr Pargeter hopes will comprise up to 10 per cent of the massive site - ought not to cause great expense to ratepayers, he argues. The land would be donated to Casey Council as public open space as part of any future development, he said. Hanson was also legally obliged to rehabilitate the land at its expense prior to hand-over. “It has to be given to the people,” Mr Pargeter says. “It doesn’t have to be bought.” The outcome ought to rival another majestically transformed former quarry, Wilson Botanic Park in Berwick, he said. “Harkaway has got the wrong end of things for a while. We pay big rates and get nothing for it.” Resident and horse-rider Gayle Joyce said the equestrian link through
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