The Regional Contaminated Land Capacity Building Program aims to build the technical expertise and capacity of Councils within the Hunter region to effectively identify, assess and manage contaminated land management issues. Primary elements of the program include:
- Development of regionally consistent contaminated land policies and procedures
- Training and capacity building forums for Council staff to improve individual and corporate knowledge and skills, and to provide access to external technical expertise and support
- Assisting Councils prepare for the transfer of management responsibilities for Underground Petroleum Storage Systems from the NSW Environment Protection Authority in 2017
The program has been made possible by the New South Wales Government through the EPA’s Contaminated Land Management Program with funding provided by the NSW Environmental Trust. It is part of a broader NSW `Contaminated Land Management Regional Capacity Building Support Program’ EPA that is providing assistance to Councils (through the funding of regional support staff) to manage and build local capacity in the management of contaminated land issues.
Councils participating in the current program include:
- Central Coast Council
- Cessnock City Council
- City of Newcastle
- Dungog Shire Council
- Lake Macquarie Council
- MidCoast Council
- Maitland City Council
- Muswellbrook Shire Council
- Port Stephens Council
- Singleton Council
- Upper Hunter Shire Council
Register of Contaminated Lands
Investigating and managing contamination through the development application process is a primary means through which Councils meet their legislative responsibilities under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
To assist Councils with this task a Register of Contaminated Land Consent Conditions is now available. The Register provides context and model “Requests for Information” or “Conditions of Development Consent” for each stage of the Contaminated Land Process.
The Register aims to:
- Encourage a consistent approach by Councils in the Hunter Region to the assessment and management of contaminated land through the development assessment process; and
- Ensure conditions of consent are appropriately worded to meet planning requirements and are enforceable in law
The Register can be downloaded from our Resources page
Model Regional Policy
A MODEL Regional Contaminated Land Policy – Land Use Planning is now available to support member Councils develop local Contaminated Land policies in a regionally consistent manner.
Adapting the MODEL Regional Policy to their Local Government Area will assist Councils demonstrate adherence with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, and the NSW Managing Land Contamination Planning Guidelines – SEPP 55 Remediation of Land 1998 (“the Planning Guidelines”), which strongly recommends that “each local council develop and adopt a formal policy for managing land contamination to provide a local context for decision making” and that “the policy should be consistent with the Guidelines and either adopt or be based on them, with variations based on local conditions and procedure”.
The Policy seeks to achieve the key principles of:
- Ensuring any land use changes will not increase risk to human health or the environment
- Avoiding inappropriate restrictions on land use
- Providing information to support decision making and to inform the community of Council’s requirements.
The MODEL Regional Contaminated Land Policy – Land Use Planning can be accessed on our Resources page