Cow clean- up costly

Shepparton News - Country News - - NEWS -

Sixty ra­dioac­tive cows buried be­neath land in Mel­bourne’s west slated for sale and de­vel­op­ment will cost $35 mil­lion to re­me­di­ate, ac­cord­ing to Vic­to­rian En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Lily D’Am­bro­sio.

She said on Sun­day the con­tam­i­na­tion would not af­fect the area’s ground­wa­ter or nearby en­vi­ron­ment.

The Age news­pa­per re­ported on Sun­day that the cows are buried in Wer­ribee land that the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment is at­tempt­ing to sell to a Chi­nese group that plans to build a $20 bil­lion ed­u­ca­tion precinct on it.

The re­port said the 775 ha site in­cluded parts of the old State Re­search Farm, which con­ducted sci­en­tific test­ing on an­i­mals for decades with ra­dioac­tive tracer dyes that could be dan­ger­ous to hu­man life for about 120 years.

Ms D’Am­bro­sio said the clean-up costs would be much cheaper than the $300 mil­lion re­ported by The Age.

She also said any de­vel­op­ment plans were sub­ject to strict en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ment be­fore ap­proval.

‘‘A re­cent re­port shows that there is no cause for con­cern in terms of con­tam­i­na­tion to ground­wa­ter and any ef­fects be­yond the area of the land it­self,’’ she said.

‘‘The in­di­ca­tions by the pro­po­nents wish­ing to de­velop up that land (show) the con­tam­i­na­tion clean-up is in the or­der of $35 mil­lion, so it’s cer­tainly nowhere near what (was re­ported).’’

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