Greater Risk: Ashfield Flats Drainage

IT is great to see Bassendean MLA Dave Kelly, Opposition spokesman for water, fisheries and youth, calling for the State Government to allocate funding as a matter of urgency to stabilise and protect the Ashfield Flats from further erosion and degradation.

Mr Kelly states on his official website: “We are greatly worried that further inaction will see the area lost forever.”

He also states, “to keep ignoring this erosion crisis is negligent to both our community but also to the protection of the Swan River”.

This is marvellous, but I would have thought that the stockpiling of the 20-metre high, several hundred metres wide area of contaminated fertiliser waste about 800 metres from the Ashfield Flats would be more of a concern.

When a local fertiliser factory was demolished, Bassendean Town Council granted special permission for the developer to stockpile this enormous mountain of waste, rather than take it to the appropriate landfill site at Red Hill Tip as “it was too expensive an option”.

An “emergency application of green hydro mulch” has been applied to the mound to contain the superphosphates and pyritic cinder dust, but according to the Department of Environment’s website, the groundwater is contaminated with heavy metals, fluoride and arsenic.

As any expert would tell you, this groundwater will eventually end up in the Swan River via the Ashfield Flats drainage system. Why is this ignored?

GERRY COLEMAN, Bassendean.