Port Kembla residents worried about WestConnex soil deliveries

Port Kembla residents are concerned about the possible impacts of rock dug up from the WestConnex project ending up in their suburb. Picture: Anna Kucera
Port Kembla residents are concerned about the possible impacts of rock dug up from the WestConnex project ending up in their suburb. Picture: Anna Kucera

Strict environmental controls need to be put in place on any rock and soil from Sydney’s WestConnex that ends up in Port Kembla, according to Wollongong MP Paul Scully.

Transport for NSW is looking to send as much as 9000 tonnes of rock a day dug up from WestConnex to Port Kembla to a location in Old Port Road.

The uncontaminated spoil would be used as fill for housing development sites.

Mr Scully said the Port Kembla community was concerned about the possibility the spoil would be stockpiled, pointing to the large piles of rock excavated during the Wollongong Central development that is still there.

“There’s a stockpile out there at the moment that was supposed to be for the outer harbour,” Mr Scully said.

“That was supposed to be there for two years but it’s now going on three or four.”

Transport for NSW has said there would be no stockpiling and the spoil would only be sent down to Port Kembla if there was a development that would use it.

“I want to see nice words and nice thoughts in a determination report translated into legal requirements,” Mr Scully said.

“Without enforceable legal requirements the Port Kembla community has got no confidence that they will not be impacted.”

Mr Scully said Port Kembla residents were also worried about the possibility of dust blowing across the suburb from any potential stockpile.

“That’s where the EPA and its licencing and its requirements are very, very important to what the Port Kembla residents want,” Mr Scully said.

“They accept there’s going to be industrial activity around Port Kembla. That doesn’t mean it’s industrial activity that starts to impact on people’s lives.”

Mr Scully has since written to Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton to point out the residents’ concerns.

“I also urge the EPA to consult with the Port Kembla Pollution Meeting in regard to the development of any licence conditions that will be imposed on this project proposed by Transport for NSW,” Mr Scully wrote in the letter.

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