The state government is confident that contaminants found in the soil of the Ballarat Railway Station will not impede upcoming works on the precinct redevelopment.
A recent study by VicTrack has revealed that elevated levels of contaminants have been found in three sections of soil, with temporary fences erected following a recommendation from Environmental Protection Authority Victoria.
A statement from VicTrack on Wednesday said it was working with the EPA to ensure any contamination risks are addressed and confirmed that a human health risk assessment is underway, with VicTrack to act on any recommendations from the assessment.
“Soil contaminants commonly found in the urban environment, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (e.g. coal residue) and lead have been identified below the ground level in three isolated areas,” the statement said.
“We do not believe there is any immediate risk to the public and believe a human health risk assessment will help clear up any public concerns.
“The temporary fencing and assessment are precautionary measures only.”
It remains unclear if any land with contaminants in the soil will be purchased by a private developer as part of the precinct redevelopment, which will see a four-star hotel built and goods shed converted into a convention centre.
The state government did not say if any handling or safety measures for contaminated soil would be the purchaser’s responsibility.
A statement from the office of Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford said the gravel section of the car park, which will be converted into a formal park, would increase the number of spaces from an (estimated) 125 to 145.
The car park will also include proper lighting and CCTV cameras. Parking will remain free, while a section will be reserved for hotel and convention centre patrons.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.