Waste fears for Elizabeth Quay

A Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) list of 23 former riverside dumps labelled the 10-hectare reclaimed site as ‘possibly contaminated ” investigation required’.

Current DEC investigations of all sites may show if the Quay needs monitoring so any toxins do not get into the Swan River.

The Quay has already battled community criticism about its cost, revelations the basin may not be big enough for ferry passengers to disembark near the Perth Busport and complaints the works are affecting businesses.

A DEC list tabled in State Parliament last year said the site, comprising Lot 5, The Esplanade, and to be excavated for the Quay’s boat basin, was reclaimed from the river using waste.

‘I suspect most likely there could be building waste, but it was not necessarily a municipal waste site,’ National Toxics Network researcher Lee Bell said.

Mr Bell said it was estimated cleaning up the list’s 23 sites could cost $30 million each.

Mr Bell said the State Government had to confirm whether municipal waste, clinical and medical material from the Health Department was dumped at Elizabeth Quay, which is now under the control of the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority.

‘Some low-level contaminated material has been discovered on site that is associated with historical fill material used within the initial stages of reclamation of the Swan River between the 1880s to early 1900s,’ MRA chief executive Kieran Kinsella said.

He said the material was being removed by truck to a Class 3 landfill site near Kwinana.

He said the MRA was working with the Environmental Protection Authority, Swan River Trust, DEC and Department of Water.