The former Waratah Gasworks operated on land bounded by Ellis, Turton and Georgetown roads, Waratah, Newcastle, from 1889 to 1926.
Investigations by Newcastle City Council found ‘elevated’ results for a combination of substances associated with historical gasworks at 13 of the 20 properties on the site.
Findings from the Council’s environmental investigation and updates about management activities at the site, including precautionary advice for residents in the area, are available on the Council’s website (see sidebar for links).
In July 2019, the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) consulted on a draft declaration notice with the residents and landholders of these affected properties as part of the formal process to declare the site under the Contaminated Land Management Act.
Declaring a site means the EPA has a greater involvement. If required, the EPA will ensure further investigations are undertaken and issue Management Orders if work is not done.
The EPA will declare a site because:
- The investigations undertaken to date show contamination that may pose a risk to human health and the environment if it isn’t managed adequately.
- Ongoing remediation and monitoring are required to prevent any further contamination.
Declaring a site also means that information about the contamination will be recorded on the EPA’s register of notices on its website. (See sidebar for links to EPA information)
The State is not the polluter and did not operate the gasworks. Steps are being taken to ensure the contamination of this historical site is managed.
The State asked Property NSW to look into how, and by whom, remediation of the historic Waratah Gasworks site should be managed.
The health and safety of the residents involved is the greatest priority. Additional testing may be required to ensure the full extent of the historic gasworks’ impact on the land is understood.
Property NSW is currently reviewing available information and will work with all stakeholders, including residents, former and current landholders, the EPA and Newcastle City Council, to determine an appropriate remediation strategy.
Mail: PO Box N408, Grosvenor Place NSW 1220