Lake Macquarie City Council has welcomes the state government’s commitment to provide $800,000 in funding over four years to help manage legacy contamination issues caused by the former Pasminco lead and zinc smelter in Boolaroo.
It follows the state government’s decision in late 2017 to adopt all 22 recommendations of the Lead Expert Working Group (LEWG) on managing residual lead contamination.
Mayor Kay Fraser said council was pleased that the government had made the funds available to go towards the long-term management of lead-related contamination, including the establishment of a grant program to assist landowners to understand their contamination status.
“We look forward to working collaboratively with the government to implement the recommendations and we are grateful to both the LEWG and the Lake Macquarie Community Reference Group for their work in this process over the last four years,” Cr Fraser said.
Council’s sustainability manager, Alice Howe, said council was getting on with the job.
“Council has already made significant progress on the recommendations that fall within its usual remit and along with this funding, has committed to working with the EPA and NSW government on those that require a collaborative approach,” Dr Howe said.
The LEWG was established by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) in 2014 and handed down its report in 2016. The state government adopted all 22 recommendations of the LEWG in November 2017.
When the smelter closed in 2003, it left large swathes of land around Boolaroo polluted by heavy metals to be cleaned up at residents’ expense.