Contamination fear for development
DESPITE BHP Billiton stating the site of a proposed residential development is potentially contaminated with ammonium sulphate, the City of Rockingham voted in favour of the development at its meeting on Tuesday night.
All councillors except Safety Bay Ward Councillor Katherine Summers voted in favour of it.
The site is on the southern side of Kerosene Lane near the Baldivis Spudshed and bordering the Paradiso Estate.
The proposed development is expected to contain 131 residential lots.
Cr Summers said Baldivis was on the threshold of over-development.
“The ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ is what we are seeing here, where a given resource is exhausted from everyone trying to reap benefits from it,” she said.
Cr Leigh Lilley made reference to the original Secret Harbour development where developers promised to retain large tuarts in the area but they were bulldozed. The tragedy of Baldivis is when does urban development become overdevelopment?
In a report prepared for councillors, more than six interested parties raised concerns to the development proposal as it currently stood, with some even deeming it unsatisfactory.
BHP’s Nickel West owns land adjacent to the site, where it has been required to treat ammonium sulphate contamination on it since 1994.
In a submission to the City they stated no groundwater testing had been conducted at the site.
Other groups with concerns included the Water Corporation, the departments of Fire and Emergency Services and existing residents.
One resident raised concerns that as part of the development application they had included a flora study done in 1979.
They said in that time there had been growth of certain large trees and the development had no provision for tree retention.
They said other suburbs such as Settlers Hills and Wellard had retained tall trees, while the Paradiso Estate was an eyesore.
Council’s approval is subject to 10 outlined conditions. They included a groundwater contamination study and tree survey plans.