After Quarrying

What happens to quarries at the end of their life?

REHABILITATION

Quarries are usually long term operations and often serve the needs of their community for many years. As the resources are progressively extracted and exhausted, the quarry is progressively rehabilitated to bring it back to a natural state.

The rehabilitation plan is usually determined as part of the quarry approval process and often involves replacing the original topsoil, reproducing waterways and replanting local trees.

This is a continual process as operations move from one section of the quarry site to another, and results in thousands of new trees being planted in and around quarries across Australia each year.

In some cases, quarries are completely redeveloped at the end of their life into parklands, sporting facilities, even housing estates.

LIFE AFTER QUARRYING

Karkarook Park is a metropolitan park in Moorabbin, Victoria that was once a sand quarry. Rehabilitated and transformed into a 40 hectare environmental and recreational asset for the Victorian community, it is a perfect example of effectively applying the principles of sustainability to quarry development.

Environmentally it turned an exhausted sand pit into a diverse, vibrant ecosystem. Socially it provides recreational opportunities including canoeing, fishing, walking, birdwatching, cycling and picnic areas for the community. Economically it provided a source of quality sand close to market to support the local construction industry. The balancing of the environmental, social and economic priorities delivered a great result for all stakeholders.

The rehabilitated quarry now provides a diverse habitat for more than 110 species of birds, many invertebrate species, indigenous trees, shrubs, grasses and aquatic marsh vegetation. A wide range of fish inhabits the lake, including Rainbow Trout and Red Fin. This diverse ecosystem and rich landscape balances the needs of 160 000 visitors a year with the needs of the local environment and is a key community resource within metropolitan Moorabbin.


Penrith Lakes in Sydney’s west was once a major quarry, with a history stretching back to the days of colonial settlement. The quarry supplied the stone, sand and gravel from which much of metropolitan Sydney was built and was progressively remediated into a series of recreational lakes in the 1990’s.

The Penrith Lakes Scheme is amongst the world’s most innovative and sizeable quarry remediation projects. Both the Sydney International Regatta Centre and Penrith White Water Stadium located at Penrith Lakes hosted many rowing events during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Further plans for development will see it transform into a popular regional destination that will be home to thousands of families whose newly constructed homes will be surrounded by pristine, natural environment and unrivalled parkland, waterways and outdoor recreational facilities.

 

Back to Quarry Overview

Learn More About

QUARRYING BASICS

The what, how and why of quarrying in
Australia. Learn what quarrying is all about
here.

FIND OUT MORE

HOW A QUARRY WORKS

How does a quarry produce these
important materials? Here’s a simple
overview.

FIND OUT MORE

THE ECONOMICS OF QUARRYING

Australia’s quarries benefit their local
community, other Australian industries and
our nation as a whole. Learn how
the quarry industry helps Australia work.

FIND OUT MORE

FURTHER READING

Brochure & Factsheets

Want to know more about quarrying in Australia? Download the brochure and factsheets for further information.

Infographic

Learn how Australian quarries provide the country with some of its most important raw ingredients: stone, gravel and sand.