Further development for former boatyard

TESTING CONTINUES: Testing at the Port MacDonnell old boatyard continues. Picture: FILE

Charlotte Varcoe

SITE contamination of the former boatyard site at Port MacDonnell is reducing over time, according to a staff report.

According to the report, the potential development of the site as a “mixed-use” development concept – including retail, hospitality, pharmacy, medical suites and tourism accommodation – would “likely be considered more sensitive than the previous uses”.

It was also noted that metal concentrations such as arsenic, copper, lead and zinc reported in the 2003 report were unable to be repeated in last year’s sampling.

It stated the averages of the soil datasets per meal were now less than health investigation level A and B and ecological criteria for urban use – concluding where the site was sealed there would be “no significant risk” to future users.

Grant District Council acting director environmental services Aaron Price said council provided the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a copy of the report and was expecting a response.

“It is part of the ongoing monitoring of the site in terms of the wells and we need to liaise with adjoining property owners in terms of the road and beyond,” Mr Price said.

“It is part of the biggest picture of metal management and the boatyard’s former use.”

He said the site had a heavy metal component of it and it would depend on its use as to what would follow suit.

“As for simply sealing the site, there are existing monitoring wells on there which would need to continue to be checked,” Mr Price siad.

“Any development would need to work around those or there would be substitute wells put in but that depends on what happens.”

He said the movement of the underground water would result in council being “sensitive” regarding the soil component should anything leave the site.

“When council originally acquired the land from the state government the agreement was for council to take the responsibility for the ongoing monitoring and reporting,” Mr Price said.

“That is an annual periodic event that we undertake alongside the Department of Transport and Infrastructure and the EPA.”

He said the report linked up with the previous results from 2003.

“Nothing has happened on the site to say there has been substantial rehabilitation so it is just taking stock and setting a baseline from which any development can leverage off it,” he said.

“The monitoring requirement exists with or without any development and the process of an application would mean the EPA is a referral agency and what it does is ensure any development has the appropriate design to mitigate the risk of contamination.”

A copy of the report has been referred to the EPA and the Department for Infrastructure and Transport for consideration.