Community

The community played an important role in the planning and implementation of the Macdonaldtown Gasworks Remediation.

Throughout the planning stage, the community and other stakeholders were provided with information on the project as well as opportunities for giving feedback to the project team and its consultants. This feedback was considered during the preparation of the project’s Environmental Assessment and influenced decisions about how the project should progress.

During the implementation stage, the project team was committed to ongoing consultation with the community and other stakeholders about its works. The team recognised that although remediation projects remove or reduce adverse environmental impacts in the long term, some project activities directly impact neighbours in the short term. In addition, the team understood that many people were interested in the environmental and community health aspects of the project.

Health risks and the community

Prior to the Environmental Assessment, RailCorp commissioned a Human and Ecological Risk Assessment to consider the degree to which the contaminated materials posed risks to people and the environment. The assessment found that the materials would only pose a risk to people if they were in direct contact with the contamination for extended periods of time, without any protective controls in place. Therefore, while the contamination was in the ground and not being disturbed, it did not cause risks to people.

At the start of the project, the engineering team implemented environmental controls that would minimise emissions to the environment. These included an Environmental Control Enclosure (ECE), which enclosed the primary excavation area and an Emission Control System (ECS), which filtered air extracted from the enclosure.

Environmental monitoring was conducted when the ECE and ECS were operational to confirm their effectiveness as environmental controls. After the completion of remediation excavations, environmental monitoring continued until all project works were finalised to ensure the health of workers, the community and the surrounding environment was maintained. The program included dust, odour, volatile organic compound, noise and vibration monitoring at the project site boundaries, on the site itself and at locations in the community.

Long-term project benefits

The Macdonaldtown Gasworks Remediation has benefited the community and environment by:

  • Removing an industrial contamination legacy;
  • Preserving and recording the important heritage aspects of the site; and
  • Replacing the non-native flora removed for the project with locally native species.

Community consultation

A range of consultation mediums were used to engage the community and stakeholders including newsletters, doorknocks, notifications about specific works, the Project Information Line and this website. The project team believed that communicating its planned activities, being available to answer questions and listening to feedback would increase the community’s understanding of the remediation project. The team also believed that learning what was important to the community through consultation would help it choose the most appropriate environmental controls for reducing project impacts.

Now that the Macdonaldtown Gasworks Remediation is complete, all enquiries should be directed to RailCorp on 131 500. E-mails may be sent to RailCorp via the links provided at https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/about-us/contact-us

Note: During the remediation works, the project contractor, Ventia, was responsible for community engagement. Catherine Fletcher, Ventia’s Community Relations Manager – Environmental Services, can be contacted on 1800 009 414.