Quarry consultation questioned

Community consultation over a controversial quarry planned for the outskirts of Christchurch has been labelled a publicity stunt.

People living close to the proposed 170ha Fulton Hogan quarry near Templeton say they have heard little from the company.

Fulton Hogan says it regularly consults with businesses, neighbours and residents since forming a seven-member community advisory group in May.

A member of the advisory group told a quarry neighbour it met fortnightly for eight sessions, but has stopped meeting since August 30.

But a Fulton Hogan spokeswoman says it has other forms of consultation, such as an information centre at the proposed quarry site at Curraghs, Dawsons, Jones and Maddisons Rds.

Maddisons Rd llama farmer Anne Thompson believes the consultation is a “PR stunt”.

Until Tuesday, she was not contacted by the advisory group since its formation.

The first contact was a Facebook message from a member of the advisory group. Ms Thompson said the member informed her that Fulton Hogan created the meeting agenda and covered issues such as noise and dust.

The member also told Ms Thompson that the advisory group will meet again if there is a need.

“How can seven people represent the community? It’s just rubbish,” Ms Thompson said.

The advisory group member did not want to comment about the advisory group to The Star, and referred questions to Fulton Hogan.

Said Fulton Hogan South Island general manager Craig Stewart: “The [advisory group] is made up of members representing a wide cross-section of the community, including immediate neighbours.”

Dawsons Rd horse trainer Sandi Curtin said it was “bizarre” for Fulton Hogan to say it has been consulting with the neighbours and businesses.

“We certainly haven’t heard anything from the community advisory group,” she said.

“If there have been any discussions, they have been very secretive about it.”

Mrs Curtin said her family’s 55-year horse training business will be lost because quarry trucks will pose a danger to the horses which race on a track next to Dawsons Rd.

The Weedons Residents’ Association is part of the advisory group, but the Templeton Residents’ Association declined to join, Mr Stewart said.

Weedons Residents’ Association secretary Gary Doyle said Fulton Hogan left many questions unanswered.

“They were not exactly the most forthcoming. They have not put up any details that are concrete,” Mr Doyle said.

“But until they make the [resource consent] application, there’s not much anyone can do.”

Templeton Residents’ Association chairman Garry Kilday said Fulton Hogan wanted to meet the six-member No Quarry sub-committee, not the wider community.

“The reason we declined to attend was we didn’t believe the sub-committee could speak for 2500 Templeton residents.

“If [Fulton Hogan] inform the community as a group about what’s going on, we will look at it,” Mr Kilday said.

He said the company should meet the community at the residents’ convenience.

Curraghs Rd resident Simon Moore had not heard from the advisory group either.

“I’m half a kilometre away and they certainly haven’t [contacted] me, none of my neighbours have been contacted either.”

Fulton Hogan expects to lodge resource consent applications early next month.

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