Have your say on Gasworks plans

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By: Zoe Tovey

Local residents and park users will have an extra two months to comment on Port Phillip Council’s?Draft Gasworks Arts Park Plan, as Council moves to reassure the community about the site’s future in the wake of a report recommending the contaminated site be razed and rebuilt.

Council will extend consultations on the plan until 21 July and has also posted its Draft Remediation Action Plan online. It has also released the results of soil tests and ground water and vapour investigations so the public can be better informed about the extent and nature of contamination at the site.

Mayor Amanda Stevens said the design for the new park had not been finalised and anyone who wanted to have their say about the park’s future should visit consultation tents at the park or leave feedback online.

Cr Stevens said the council was aware that many regular park users felt great attachment and loyalty towards the space, which is popular with young families and dog owners.

“We have a difficult decision to make around the extent of works and closure of the park and we are committed to involving the local community in this discussion,” she said.

“It is important that we take a long-term view to plan for Gasworks Arts Park to ensure the site is safe to continue as a public park in the future. The Park Plan allows us to plan for remediation and upgrade works concurrently, ensuring the community can enjoy the park when works are completed without ongoing disruption.”

Tests carried out by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria last year found soil across the site was severely contaminated with heavy metals and hydrocarbons from its former use as a gasworks plant. While the EPA has deemed the park safe for use in the short term, it has ordered the council to cap the site with a 50cm layer of clean soil to ensure the long-term safety of park users.

Under the proposed remediation plan, the park will be closed for up to a year. All infrastructure and vegetation, including trees, will be removed. Once the soil capping is complete, mature trees will be planted and the park rebuilt with new facilities including seating, lighting, barbecues and a children’s playground.

“The Draft Park Plan aims to reproduce the country bush feel and open grassed area, and also provides the opportunity for increased vegetation and new facilities to match our growing community needs,” Cr Stevens said.

 

For more information on the Draft Gasworks Arts Park Plan, the Draft Remediation Action Plan and the EPA’s technical reports, visit www.haveyoursayatportphillip.net.au/gasworks-arts-park

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