A disused Redhead quarry that was once an illegal dumping hot-spot will be transformed into a haven for native flora and fauna under a major Council rehabilitation project.
Works have begun to provide safe access to the 3ha site off Oakdale Road, with the aim of returning it to its former natural state.
Lake Macquarie City Council Manager Environmental Systems Tim Browne said more than 4000 trees, 10,000 shrubs and 20,000 vines, ferns and other ground cover species would be planted across the site.
They include spotted gums, blackbutts, scribbly gums and smooth-barked apple trees – all native to the area. Almost 92,000 tonnes of clean earth will also be trucked in from construction sites across Lake Macquarie to help fill the quarry void and reshape the landscape to a more natural form that aids drainage and minimises erosion.
“The Oakdale Road quarry has been a dumping ground and hooning hot-spot for unauthorised dirt bikes for many years,” Mr Browne said.
“These rehabilitation works will help it blend back into the natural environment and establish new habitats in which native plants and animals can thrive.”
Natural Assets Officer Brooke Laforest said Lake Macquarie Landcare would provide the bulk of plants required for the rehabilitation project. They will be planted in stages as the site is reshaped.
“The existing cliff will still be a feature of the site, but earth will be built up against it to create a more natural final landform that slopes down into the middle of the quarry,” Ms Laforest said.
Council leased the site from NSW Crown Lands to quarry gravel for local construction projects, but ceased quarrying in the 1980s.
Public access will be restored once the rehabilitation project is completed, expected to be in 2023 at the earliest. Mr Browne said similar works were nearing completion at West McDonalds quarry at Glendale. That site is earmarked for community use rather than natural bushland.