By Sally McGlew
AN application to remediate the land contained at Lot 134 (No.133) Clayton Street, Bellevue was approved by the City of Swan on December 16.
The application was initially presented to the Ordinary Council Meeting on October 21, 2020 and then deferred until formal advice had been received from Department of Water and Environment Regulation (DWER) and incorporated into the report.
DWER recommends highlighting the potential risks associated with the disturbance of landfill material.
But given the community concern raised for this proposal the City recommended Council impose this as a condition so that it will be monitored and enforced.
The land is zoned industrial under the Metropolitan Region Scheme (MRS) and general industrial under the City’s Local Planning Scheme No.17 (LPS17).
Past uses for the land have included a brickworks, abattoir and landfill for builder’s rubble and car tyres.
It is also widely acknowledged that the site was used for illegal dumping of rubbish.
The application proposes digging into the site to a depth of 2.5m and sifting through about 42,000m3 of earth to remove any deposited material then replace it with sand.
The works are anticipated to take 12 to 16 weeks.
Submissions were invited from residents abutting the property with 11 responses received mainly relating to contamination and air pollution.
Contamination is regulated by DWER according to the Contamination Sites Act 2003.
Bellevue resident Arthur Storm, whose property abuts the site said he had concerns with traffic access and dust, in an area that is predominately residential, when he spoke at the Council forum on December 9.
“The site is near a nature trail, playground, school and sports oval and city planners have not informed the relevant State authorities,” he said.
“It’s possible that the location and the volume of material to be processed would require environmental investigation if not licensing of the operation.”
It’s estimated there will be about 960 truck movements over the course of the site works with an average of 10 vehicle movements per day for the majority of the remediation works.
The development applicant stated that during the final 10 days of remediation works, there would be about 48 truck movements a day to bring in clean fill.
Mr Storm said despite the Council stating that public consultation had been undertaken it did not go beyond a 50m distance from the site.
“People need to be educated on the whole environmental catastrophe that was Bellevue since the 90s and before that.
“There was illegal dumping on this site and we don’t know what was dumped there.
“There are exposure health risks for neighbours and possible contaminants in the soil and that needs to be investigated.
“In 2009 the Department of Environment and Conservation flagged that the site was possibly contaminated.
“This has never been properly investigated,” he said.
Mr Storm implored Council to make sure environmental authorities followed the guidelines required for the remediation to meet approval standards.