Greens Councillor Murray Matson says that unused defence force land at Bundock Street in Randwick is unsuitable for use as a construction depot for the CSELR light rail project because of a layer of buried PCB contamination on the site.
He reports that residents have shown him photographic evidence that the PCB layer exists.
“The storey that I am told is that Australia’s defence forces discovered that they had a disposal problem over what to do with contaminated electrical transformer liquids. There were similar problems facing Britain and America. It seems that this contaminated liquid is what is now buried under area 10 in the dark layer of soil visible in the photograph.”
Councillor Matson wants the CSELR project to find a different site. He said,
“If you look at it from a precautionary principle perspective there surely must be an alternative site available to the CSELR project that is both more accessible by heavy vehicles and not so clearly dangerous to resident’s health.
He says that residents want the site to be sprayed with native seeds to return it to bush land. He said,
“We should not be using a heavily contaminated site to store construction resources. There is an artificial membrane under the soil holding down contaminants such as PCB’s that I would not like to think of being damaged. Some years ago soil was placed over the membrane and native seeds sprayed over it to return it to natural vegetation. For some reason Defence subsequently cleared the resulting bush land. It was apparently quite distressing to see the homeless bird life perched on fences around the denuded site. Many residents think that the best thing would be for it to be again re-vegetated.”