City of Belmont ‘generally supports’ Perth Airport third runway project

A plane descends into Perth Airport.
A plane descends into Perth Airport.

DESPITE stating its overall support, the City of Belmont still has concerns about contamination, lighting and the impact on Munday Swamp during construction of Perth Airport’s third runway.

In a submission commenting on the Preliminary Draft Major Development Plan (MDP), the City outlines its concerns regarding sediment and drainage, proposed lighting and infrastructure impacts on Munday Swamp and the management and treatment of per- and poly- fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), man-made chemicals which have been shown to have adverse health effects on humans.

However, the City’s submission states that there is no conclusive information on the effects of PFAS on human health or the environment at this stage.

“It is acknowledged that Perth Airport is currently in an investigative phase regarding possible impacts consistent with the established national measures,” it said.

“Perth Airport will be responsible for remediation of any identified contamination.”

During the recent construction of the living stream for the airport southern main drain, a significant amount of sediment was mobilised and transported to the Swan River.

A northern main drain required for the third runway is yet to be constructed and the City has asked for “clarification on whether hydrological modelling suggested there would be any changes to flow rates and volumes exiting the airport estate, because of the proposed changes to (these) main drains”.

Further to potential sediment mobilisation, technical studies have confirmed the existence of per- and poly- fluoro alkyl substances (PFAS) within the area.

At its council meeting last week , former councillor and Belmont resident Paul Hitt asked the City questions, which were taken on notice, about why support for the MDP was still given considering the concerns raised.

“It seems these and concerns are just being glossed over,” he said.

A Perth Airport spokesperson said Perth Airport, which is one of Belmont’s biggest ratepayers, would work closely with construction contractors to develop an effective construction environmental management plan (CEMP) that would mitigate against environmental and heritage impacts of the New Runway Project (NRP) including the impacts on geology and hydrology.

“Extensive analysis and assessment has occurred in the planning and design of the NRP to achieve this outcome,” they said.

“Throughout construction and operation of the new runway, measures will be applied to manage heritage values including engagement with traditional custodians to monitor construction works and ongoing cultural awareness training for workers involved in the project.

“Perth Airport will implement reporting and incident management processes to ensure ongoing compliance with legislative requirements and approval conditions.”