SAVE Arthurs Seat protesters have been told to remove signs they have erected on roads near the Hillview quarry site.
The large signs protesting the Ross Trust’s plans for a new quarry on Arthurs Seat feature an image of “blood” dripping down from a scar on the hillside and the words No New Quarry Ross Trust! are said to be in breach of planning laws.
Mornington Peninsula Shire Council ordered the signs down after receiving complaints.
It told the Save Arthurs Seat group the signs were too large and were deemed as “promotional”, which puts them in breach of clause 52.05 of the planning scheme.
“Part of [the shire’s] obligation as the responsible authority is to ensure the controls and protections that form part of the planning scheme are maintained,” community safety and compliance manager Shannon Maynard said.
“Anyone seeking to place a sign on private land must comply with the planning scheme, regardless of the content of the sign.”
“These signs have clearly hit a nerve,” Dr Mark Fancett, from the Save Arthurs Seat campaign, said. He added that the signs were on private land and did not pose any safety or traffic risks.
“We can’t say for sure who complained about these signs, but their removal doesn’t benefit the community, it only benefits the Ross Trust and Hillview Quarries, who are steaming ahead with this quarry proposal against massive opposition.
“Council says one of the complaints mentioned the negative visual impact of the signs, which is bizarre given that the new quarry is going to cause a huge scar on the side of Arthurs Seat.
“I can’t understand the thinking of someone who would object to a relatively small protest sign but who is happy for a hole the size of 21 MCGs to be dug out of the side of Arthurs Seat.”
Mr Fancett said being ordered to remove the signs “just makes us more determined to win this campaign and the Ross Trust needs to know that the opposition to this quarry is not going away”.
“The signs may be gone, but for the Ross Trust, the writing is on the wall.”
The Save Arthurs Seat campaign is closing in on 100,000 signatures on a change.org petition and recently received national TV coverage on A Current Affair.
Last week, Liberal environment spokesperson Cindy McLeish wrote that the Victorian Liberals “strongly oppose” the quarry and that if it was permitted to proceed, “not only will it devastate the local landscape, it will threaten the future liveability and sustainability of the Mornington Peninsula”.