Page 2055 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 15 May 2013
I call on the government to publish any plans or policy to deal with the large number of vacant service station sites across Canberra, any measures the government is working on to ensure a collaborative process to seeing these sites utilised, and the list of sites and their status of remediation or approvals to date. Please, minister, take the focus from the grand schemes and focus on the walk from the front door to the bus stop, not just the city to the lake.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (4.16): I move the amendment circulated in my name relating to this motion:
Omit all words after “That this Assembly”, substitute:
(a) that there are currently 13 disused service station sites across the city;
(b) that the remediation and redevelopment of service station sites across the Territory poses particular challenges and is governed by stringent environmental protection processes;
(c) that all of these sites are at various stages of lease variation, remediation and development approval processes;
(d) that four of these sites have completed the required remediation and received final environmental clearances;
(e) that seven of these sites have problems with ground water contamination and other related complexities which makes the sites very difficult, costly and time consuming to remediate; and
(f) that the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate is monitoring the status of work on all sites and is working with each of the lessees who are not making reasonable progress on their sites.”.
The government is strongly committed to protecting our environment, and the remediation and redevelopment of service station sites across the territory poses a particular challenge and as such is governed by stringent environmental protection processes. The work required to evaluate and ultimately remediate a site can be both very costly and take a considerable period of time to finalise.
Given the issue has been raised by Mrs Jones today, I think it is instructive for members to better understand the framework for dealing with these sites in the ACT and how the Environment Protection Authority oversees remediation through to a final site clearance. This will also help to explain why sites apparently remain dormant over long periods of time.
The ANZECC 1992 guidelines for the assessment and management of contaminated sites list service stations as an activity associated with land and groundwater