Despite submissions and concerns raised by residents, the authority has decided to build the bus depot just metres behind family homes in Coyle Road, Loch View, Mandarin Court, Gem Cove and Adelaide Circle, beginning within weeks. The WA Planning Commission gave approval in March for the depot.
Residents should be alert to their possible exposure to asbestos fibres while contractors scrape the soil as part of their remediation works. The authority says it will follow the health department guidelines in remediating the site.
But although the transport authority downplays the contamination as low risk to the community, the fact that it is going to great lengths to remediate the site indicates a risk is present.
If it is such a low risk to neighbouring residents then why doesn’t the authority just build on top of the site as it is?
In approving the development, the planning commission ignored the fact that a bus depot does not belong on land zoned for wastewater treatment.
Like the Karrinyup and Joondalup bus depots, it should be on land zoned Service Industrial, Public Use Transport and Civic, which are more consistent with industrial land uses.
How can anyone be assured when buying a house next to land zoned for water, sewage and drainage that they will not end up with a bus depot in his or her back yard? It is also most alarming that the bus depot is to be 75 metres behind homes. Guidelines for the separation distances recommend 200 metres between a bus depot and houses because of toxic diesel fumes, noise and dust.
Not only is the community at risk of asbestos fibres carried in the easterly winds across houses, it is also worried about the serious health problems that have been associated with diesel exhaust fumes.