barangaroo scotch row precinct sydney
Source: Henry Thai
  • Historic gasworks across NSW have left widespread contamination legacy.
  • Investigations for Tamworth's Peel Street gasworks under way.
  • Results and estimated costs of any remediation likely unknown until mid-2021.

A legacy of contamination from gasworks has left many parts of Sydney and NSW with large repair bills and unsightly repair works.

The NSW Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that while historic gasworks waste tended to be recycled or reused, it was not unusual for the waste to be left in situ:

“The major contaminants include tars, oils, hydrocarbon sludges, spent oxide wastes, ash and ammoniacal recovery wastes. While many of these materials were recycled or reused, it was common for some to be buried on or near the gasworks site (for instance in underground tar wells, liquor wells, pipes and purifier beds) and not removed when the gasworks were decommissioned.”

It lead to unsightly works around the state, leaving many locals inconvenienced, some outraged.

Locals working at the Barangaroo Towers precinct told The Property Tribune it felt like an ever-present eyesore to see the road ripped up, inaccessible, and devalued the otherwise pristine parcel of prime commercial and residential land just south of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

That lamentable legacy is now hitting the regional town of Tamworth, Regional Council Manager Compliance Ross Briggs said in a statement:

“A specialist company will carry out the investigation both on the site and adjoining sites which involves drilling for soil samples and installing monitoring wells. This will provide a clear picture of the full extent of contamination as well as a plan for remediation.”

The Peel Street investigation results aren’t expected to be known until mid-2021, the original site is stated by the Regional Council to have been “owned by Tamworth Gas and Coke Company, Colonial Gas Company and the former Tamworth Municipal Council from 1882 to about 1973.”

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