Master Plan and Development
The Southlands site was developed consistent with its industrial zoning. Orica was keen to see the wasteland converted into productive space. The site has become a major industrial and warehousing estate servicing Port Botany and the Sydney metropolitan area. Orica retains portions of land necessary for its ongoing Botany Groundwater Cleanup Project.
- Total site area: 18.288 hectares
- Site subdivided into 12 lots
- Industrial development over Lots 1-6 (the project approval allows for warehouse and ancillary office buildings)
- Road improvement works at the intersection of Hills Street with Botany Road, Banksmeadow
- Site filling and earthworks on the western portion to deliver required building pads
- Earthworks, and erosion and sediment controls on the eastern portion to deliver compensatory flood storage area
- Enhancement and landscaping of Springvale Drain, the site frontage and the compensatory flood storage area
- Two frog ponds provided along Springvale Drain
- Lots 7, 8 and 12 are the subject of a development applications by the purchaser
- Orica retains ownership of Lots 9, 10 and 11, with a large portion of the eastern side (Lot 9) being an open space area providing compensatory flood storage benefitting the local area. Lots 10 and 11 house the infrastructure required for Orica's ongoing Botany Groundwater Cleanup Project.
Key Considerations during Project Development
The following were key considerations for the Southlands Development Project. Detailed studies on these matters were included in the project's environmental assessment:
Synergy with Orica's Ongoing Groundwater Cleanup Activities
Southlands plays an important role in the Orica Botany Groundwater Cleanup Project. Development of the site has been planned to enable:
- Ongoing operation and maintenance of the groundwater containment system installed along the Southlands' McPherson Street boundary
- Ongoing hydraulic and chemical monitoring
- Potential for future application of other groundwater remediation technologies.
Management of Site Access and Local Traffic Constraints
Local traffic constraints were identified as a key concern to local businesses and residents during community workshops. Local road improvements determined by the Department of Roads and Maritime Services to the intersection of Botany Road and Hills Street were a condition of the project approval for the development.
A large compensatory flood storage area has been delivered according to conditions of the project approval to ensure no significant changes to off-site flood impacts as a result of the proposed development.
The Southlands site was unfenced for several decades prior to and following Orica's acquisition. As a result, it was subject to dumping of rubbish, building debris and general refuse. Additionally, prior to Orica ownership the site was subject to dumping of paper pulp from local manufacturers and ash from Bunnerong Power Station.
Orica conducted a series of investigations to assess the extent of this impact and what actions were required to render it suitable for occupation.
Orica has removed some minor areas identified as containing materials unsuitable for the development. Furthermore, due to the presence of extensive building debris, the Stage 1 area has been covered with clean imported soil to prevent incidental exposure by future occupants. The remedial approach was developed in conjunction with a NSW EPA approved contaminated sites auditor.
The majority of the remediation for Stage 2 was completed in Stage 1 works (i.e. removal of hotspot materials). An addendum Remediation Action Plan was developed for Stage 2 outlining additional measures required during construction works (such as vapour controls and capping). These measures will be implemented by a purchaser during development.
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Project Environmental Initiatives
On the recommendation of a community member, Mr Doug Benson, Senior Plant Ecologist from the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, was invited to provide comment on the draft landscaping approach for the project. The landscaping plan incorporates feedback from Mr Benson and was approved by DPI and the then City of Botany Bay Council.
Green and Golden Bell Frog Habitat
Orica adopted a recommendation to provide habitat ponds for the Green and Golden Bell Frog, which was once observed at the site but has not been found in more recent surveys.
Orica began holding community workshops on the Southlands Development Project in mid 2006, with the project being introduced as one of the topics during two community briefings that provided an overview and update on the Botany Transformation Projects.
Orica held subsequent community consultation workshops in 2007 and 2009 during development of the project to provide an opportunity for the community to participate in detailed discussions that focused on a particular issue or topic. Workshop information is available on request.
Between 2010 and 2016 project updates were provided at Community Liaison Committee (CLC) and Orica Botany Liaison Committee meetings.
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