Conundrum Holdings

By on October 3, 2018

The modern quarry: supporting communities and infrastructure

Conundrum Holdings is a family owned business with a number of quarry sites throughout Victoria, delivering quality products while caring for employees, the community and the environment. The company’s original Northern Quarries site was established 26 years ago with the original access being Cooper Street, Epping. The first landholding was exhausted and remediated for re-purposing recyclable materials.

The adjoining and current site is accessed via O’Herns Road, Epping and has become the benchmark for safety, technology and the environment. Two weighbridges service the current site with ‘self service’ docketing kiosks, delivering highly productive turnaround times for quarried material sales and receiving of recyclable materials.

Northern Quarries has become the benchmark for safety, technology and the environment.

Northern Quarries has become the benchmark for safety, technology and the environment.

Northern Quarries was established to have a presence in the market place for high quality basalt supplied from a privately owned, independent quarry company focused on servicing infrastructure, civil works, commercial building sector and resale outlets such as garden supplies. The business has and continues to be welcomed by these sectors especially when demand is such that the  vertically integrated major companies are under pressure for their own supply chains.

Northern Quarries has been appreciated for its client commitment to be a reliable supply point in both good and bad times.

Northern Quarries has been appreciated for its client commitment to be a reliable supply point in both good and bad times.

Northern Quarries has been appreciated for its client commitment to be a reliable supply point in both good and bad times.

Sarah Andrew represents the fourth generation of the family business, which was originally started by her great-grandfather. She explains, “People have an image that quarries are dirty, dusty places and an eye sore to the landscape but that’s really not what we deliver anymore. We’ve invested in processes and technologies to meet our obligation in terms of health and safety of our employees because if people are happy, they stay longer and the community benefits.”

“There are many advantages to having quarries as close as possible to their end users because every time you increase the distance, you’re increasing the number of trucks, pressure on the road systems and increasing the cost to the end user. By having quarries close to construction, whether it be roads, hospitals or housing, the community as a whole benefits,” said Sarah.

With respect to the CMPA, Ron Kerr commented, “In 1999, the extractive sector was facing challenges including collapsing demand, contracting price, and no regional or outer metropolitan voice at a State Government level. The CMPA was formed as a result, and Conundrum Holdings is proud to be one of the founding members. The benefits provided by the CMPA includes ensuring government and regulators gain a very clear understanding of the sector’s issues and needs, developing resources to assist in the daily running of our business, and opportunities to connect with others in the sector.”

“As a founding member, we cannot stress enough the importance and critical nature of Associate Members and the role they have played in ensuring there is a continuing presence of small to medium businesses in the Victorian economy.”

Conundrum has a strong commitment to setting industry standards.

Conundrum has a strong commitment to setting industry standards.

Conundrum has a strong commitment to setting industry standards and helping address the skills shortage and works closely with a number of vocational and higher education providers. Industry Consultant, David McKelvie, explained that as a result of its proximity to Melbourne, the Northern Quarries site has always been made available for those that require on site training especially groups undertaking the Box Hill TAFE Surface Extraction Operations Course.

“The site has always continued to strive to set an industry standard, and has evolved to be an example for people undertaking training in the industry. Ron Kerr has always welcomed new or
existing members of the CMPA to visit Northern Quarries. This site truly demonstrates what can be achieved in meeting or even exceeding WHS requirements,” he said.

Conundrum has developed infrastructure and the systems in place to establish the ‘modern quarry’. To that end, Northern Quarries has been able to co exist with competing land uses which have also developed over time and allowed adjacent development to prosper with quarry materials at their doorstep with no loss of amenity.

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