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A contaminated tract of land on the western side of Darwin Harbour has been brought back to life by Ventia’s dedicated project team.
In 2015 we were awarded the Cox Peninsula Remediation Project in the Northern Territory by the Commonweath Department of Finance. The remote land had been used by the Commonwealth for maritime, communications and defence purposes for 120 years.
The project team’s aims were to restore the natural environment, make the site safe for future use and to work closely with the Traditional Owners of the land.
We removed asbestos, heavy metals and pesticides from the land across three separate sites: an Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA) site, a former Radio Australia site, and the Charles Point Lighthouse precinct, each of which came with its own challenges. We chose the most effective remediation methods and technologies for each situation, including thermal treatment, immobilisation, and disposal both on and off-site. For on-site disposal we designed and constructed a 30,000m3 on-site containment cell for the asbestos and treated wastes.
This complex project included:
Working with the local Indigenous community was a strong focus for this project, and ultimately 35% of the project team was Indigenous. As part of our commitment to working with the Traditional Owners of the land, we engaged the Northern Land Councils Kenbi Ranger Group to deliver land management, heritage monitoring, site labour, transport and security services.
Ventia also extended training opportunities to each member of the Rangers, providing individuals with additional skills for the future. Courses included first aid, low voltage rescue, groundwater monitoring, plant operation competency verification, risk management and asbestos awareness and removal.Two Kenbi Rangers also visited our groundwater monitoring team in Victoria, learning how to periodically monitor the groundwater around the permanent containment cell at the site.
This collaborative approach saw Ventia and the Kenbi Rangers awarded Best Collaboration in Natural Resource Management in the NT Natural Resource Management Awards 2016.
Our commitment to protecting the local and global environment meant that during the project planning phase we identified and found ways to reduce our impact on the environment. Some of these included:
We remediated and rehabilitated areas known as Section 32 (1,600 ha), Section 34 (3,150 ha) and Section 41 (1.2 ha) in order to support the future transfer of the site to the NT Government and ultimately the Traditional Owners for future use.
We worked closely with our client and the Traditional Owners throughout the project to understand their objectives – such as ensuring strong Indigenous employment in the project. 35% of the project management hours worked were Indigenous.
Constructed 30,000m3 permanent containment cell to hold contaminated soils from various locations on Cox Peninsula, as well as building and demolition waste and asbestos. Excess concrete was also placed in the cell. The cell was engineered to be impermeable, for long term and safe containment of waste materials.
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