A QUARRY planned for Panmure has received approval from state authorities but environmentalists and traditional owners want Moyne Shire Council to stop the project.
The quarry would cover about 60 hectares of farmland on the Ellerslie-Panmure Road, using about 15 hectares at a time, and extracting about 100,000 tonnes of bluestone a year.
A Save the Hopkins River - Stop the Quarry group fears the site will impact waterways leading to the Hopkins River, as well as endangered or threatened fish species and Indigenous cultural heritage sites.
But the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and Heritage Victoria have ruled out those concerns.
In referral documents they say there is "no requirement to consider potential offsite impacts to species" in the Hopkins River and there are no known heritage sites "within the subjected area".
Victoria's Earth Resources has also endorsed a work plan but Moyne Shire Council is yet to grant planning permission.
Geoff Rollinson, chair of the opposing group, said he wanted an environmental effects statement and wider analysis of the impact on cultural heritage sites.
"The burden of proof is on the responsible agencies to prove it won't have an impact," Mr Rollinson said.
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Indigenous Elder of the Maar Nation Rob Lowe said he was concerned the quarry could impact burial sites in the Framlingham Forest.
Mr Lowe said the community felt it was not being treated as "experts in our own history" and wanted consultation.
"There needs to be more discussion on this, you can't just take words from experts and say 'righto there's nothing there'," he said.
Panmure's Janelle McLeod, who's proposing the quarry with husband Ben, said authorities did not have concerns with the proposal.
"We have looked into it from the start and made sure that everything could be done properly without breaking the rules," she said.
"The work plan has been designed and meets all requirements in a heavily regulated industry."
She said the site would be at least 200 metres from the Hopkins River and no water would be discharged to the river or a nearby creek.
"Rain water and surface flows will be directed to the quarry sump, which will have sufficient capacity to accommodate any storm event," Ms McLeod said.
"Core test samples of blue stone taken at the proposed site revealed the chance of any extracted materials containing crystalline silica as negligible."
Ms McLeod said the Indigenous community was not consulted because authorities did not require it.
"If we were told we needed to consult with them then we would have, but we haven't been told to do any of that," she said.
Moyne Shire Council plans to host a community consultation meeting about the project on October 14. More information can be found on the council website.
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