International parties interested in ’reborn’ Grantham Quarry
THERE is international interest in the 'reborn' and rehabilitated Grantham Quarry, as it prepares for its new life as farmland.
The controversial site has been rebranded as the Lockyer Agri Centre, with the rehabilitation process finished after three years of work.
The property was bought by Zanows' Concrete and Quarries in 2015 from Boral Resources.
The Grantham Floods Commission of Inquiry found the quarry, which was formerly owned by the prominent Wagner family, did not play a role in the death of 12 people in 2011.
"We've re-profiled the site in such a way that it mimics the original profile but with a big lake in the middle," managing director Darren Zanow said.
"It was always our intention to return the site back to farmland because, realistically, the resource is exhausted."
He believed the site was close to being ticked off by Lockyer Valley Regional Council so it could be sold on.
"We're worked very closely with the council for a number of years and the community, especially the immediate land owners to come up with a strategy that everybody would be comfortable with," Mr Zanow said.
"We saw it as an opportunity to help a community that really needed help and not just words, but actually getting in and doing something."
Mr Zanow said the 79.45ha property was attractive due to its proximity to Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport and the recently constructed Toowoomba Bypass, as well as being just over an hour into Brisbane.
It is estimated there could be a combined water supply potential of between 12500-5000 ML per annum depending on seasonal events.
"It could be used for any sort of intensive horticulture or agricultural pursuit," he said.
"There's obviously a good strong water source available on site where the quarry void was.
"There's two bores on it and a number of irrigation licenses for both industrial and agricultural."
Scan Property Consultants director Matthew Richards, who is handling the sale, said there had been strong interest from local and international groups.
"Mainly in the agribusiness sector, along the lines of aquaculture and horticulture, intensive vertical farming and greenhouse horticulture," he said.
"The Inland Rail is going up through that corridor and with the Toowoomba Bypass, that allows B-triples to access the site whereas formally they couldn't go past Toowoomba.
"It's also got the Roma-Brisbane high pressure natural gas pipeline which runs past the front of it which is suitable for intensive manufacturing or processing."
Lockyer Valley Regional Council CEO Ian Church said the Grantham community had a high level of interest in the rehabilitation works and commended Zanows for its management of the site and consultation with residents.
"Council has been working with the Zanows on the development of a site-based management plan and this will be considered at a council meeting in the near future to ensure rehabilitation works meet planning and environmental requirements and community expectations," he said.
"Council certainly sees the importance of giving the local community a greater sense of safety and peace should substantial rains come again in the future and works such as the rehabilitation of the former quarry site and the installation of the Grantham flood warning siren are key components of this."