Templeton’s proposed quarry will stop a 55-year-old family business

SAFETY ISSUES: Jim Curtin fears he will have to close his 55-year-old family harness racing business as the track, which runs next to Dawsons Rd, will be too close to passing trucks from the proposed Templeton quarry. PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER.

A 55-year-old Templeton family business will close if the proposed quarry nearby goes ahead.

Fulton Hogan says the quarry, which will be on a 170ha section of land on Dawsons, Curraghs and Jones Rds, will be there for up to 40 years.

Harness racing driver and trainer Jim Curtin and his wife Sandi operate the family business from their 14ha Dawsons Rd property.

But Mrs Curtin said there is no way they will be able to continue safely as passing trucks will pose a danger to their horses which race on a track next to Dawsons Rd.

“It’s not a matter of if there’s an accident but when there’s an accident,” she said.

Two weeks ago, Western News revealed Fulton Hogan’s plans to have 1500 truck movements in or out of the site a day.

No quarry signs.

The Curtins had a meeting with Fulton Hogan in late January and were advised planting trees could help.

“The possibility of additional tree planting on the Curtins side of the boundary was discussed but was quickly discounted due to their track running directly along the roadside boundary,” a Fulton Hogan spokesman said.

Mrs Curtin said it would cost hundreds of thousands to move the track and they “don’t have the room” anyway.

The Fulton Hogan spokesman said it will work with the community and local authorities “to position our quarry entrance so that the vast majority of truck movements will access and exit via State Highway 1, rather than using local roads.”

Mrs Curtin is also worried about silica dust and what effect it could have on their health.

She said selling the property isn’t an option either as other horse trainers will have the same issues and they would have to sell it for less than it’s worth.

But Mrs Curtin isn’t alone. She says there are more than 25 breeders and trainers in the area who are in the same situation.

“A quarry so close to a township, I just don’t understand it,” Mrs Curtin said.

She says thinking about the future of their business is taking its toll on her.

“What do you do from here? Jim’s never done anything else except for train horses. Go and retrain? Well, what does he retrain as, an accountant? I don’t think so,” Mrs Curtin said.