Page 419 - Week 01 - Thursday, 17 February 2011

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(15) Was it consultants who discovered the contamination; if so, for what purpose were the consultants engaged.

(16) When was this site last used as a builders’ landfill.

(17) Has either the ACT Government or the Federal Government ever (a) used the landfill and (b) dumped asbestos-contaminated waste in the builders’ landfill.

Mr Stanhope: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

1. While it had been known that the site of the former sewerage plant and builders’ rubbish dump may contain contaminated materials for many years; the ACT Government only conducted an investigation into the extent of this contamination for the first time in 2004.

2. Contaminants identified include total petroleum hydrocarbons, bonded asbestos, heavy metals and pesticides. To date almost 100,000 tonnes of soil has been excavated from the site that has contained varying degrees of contaminants.

3. The asbestos material that has been found is being treated in strict accordance with the relevant Occupational, Health, Safety, and Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) requirements, so it does not pose any public risk.

4. Current information suggests that the estimate to clean up the site of contaminants and builders’ rubble is of the order of some $10 million.

5. The North Weston Pond project is well away from the Land Development Agency’s (LDA) residential development in the suburb of Wright, with the contaminated material being more than 700 metres away from the nearest block in Wright.

6. Cleanup activities include removal of contaminants, remnant structures and unsuitable material.

7. Refer to response for question 4.

8. A Remediation Action Plan (RAP) for dealing with contaminants was prepared as part of the preconstruction activities associated with the project which included disposal of material at designated landfill sites at the Belconnen and Mugga Resource Centres.

9. Preliminary advice is that there will be nil impact on the value of properties.

10. Considering that these revenue streams are tied to the value of the properties the ACT Government does not expect that these streams will be impacted

11. Yes. The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) maintains a geographic information system (GIS) which identifies the approximate location and size of identified former builders spoil disposal sites. Many of these sites are located within public land throughout the ACT with the management of these sites the responsibility of the relevant Government agency. Currently 115 landfill sites of varying complexity are recorded throughout the ACT, with a number of these sites containing varying degrees of asbestos contamination.

12. The ACT Government undertook a comprehensive survey of suspected landfill sites in 1995. These sites are recorded in the EPA geographic information system (GIS). As additional sites are identified they are added to the GIS.

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