In its latest newsletter  on the Groundwater Treatment Plant and proposed Mercury treatment plant Orica has also included information about its proposed development of Southlands: “Orica plans to remediate and develop a vacant site, known as ‘Southlands’, in McPherson Street, Banksmeadow. This project is discussed at every CLC meeting and is currently being assessed by the Department of Planning (DoP). At the September meeting Orica reported that further traffic and flood management investigations were underway. Once completed, this information will be provided to DoP and considered in its determination of the Environmental Assessment. The discussion on the project by CLC members are reported in the meeting minutes.”

The Orica proposal has been with the Department of Planning since late 2009.  The long delay reflects the high significance of the potential traffic and flooding impacts.  The Department issued guidelines on development in areas threatened by rising sea levels a few months ago – Link to Department of Planning on Rising Sea Level Guidelines .

In this Submission on Southlands the argument is made  for a major phytoremediation project which would involve revegetating Southlands in Melaleuca Swamp, the original vegetation, with the aim of filtering toxins from the Botany Aquifer.  Orica are already having success with bioredmediation trials at Southlands.  Revegetation of the site would also provide habitat for native species and in addition an offset for the environmental damage that Orica is responsible for in the Botany Aquifer.

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