Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has issued the City of Greater Bendigo with a remedial notice requiring it undertake an environmental audit at 67 Havlin Street, Flora Hill, which is also known as Wolstencroft Reserve.
The audit will determine whether the site could be used for a new use in the future. As part of the notice, the former landfill site will be subject to a 53X audit, which will verify whether the site can be used for a more sensitive use, such as recreational, or residential.
EPA North West Manager, Dr Scott Pigdon said council had been very co-operative with EPA and had committed to undertaking the requirements set out in the notice.
“Due to the historical use of the site as a landfill, there could be risks to the environment, and therefore further investigative works are required before any further decisions are made around an appropriate land use,” he said.
“The completion of a detailed assessment of the former landfill site has been the main issue restricting the development of the site.
“Conducting an environmental audit of the site will help determine whether it could be used for a more user-friendly parkland which has been raised by the local community.
“However, it must be noted that these types of assessments do take time and it’s important they are completed in a thorough manner.”
The notice issued to council has a number of steps which include completing further assessments to identify risks at the site associated with the former landfill activity, developing and implementing a plan to remediate any risks identified and lastly a final environmental audit which will outline appropriate land use at the site in the future.
“Once the audit is completed, it will outline what the land is suitable for as well as any remaining risks associated with the site,” Dr Pigdon said,
“Council will then be able to take the findings of the report and then use the site in a way that’s consistent with the issues outlined in the statement.”
The final audit is due on the 29 March 2018 and must be verified by an EPA-appointed environmental auditor.