contamination is the condition where either directly or indirectly, human
activities have caused a substance to be incorporated into the landscape at
concentrations that have the potential to harm human health or the environment.
is typically found on sites where hazardous substances have been used, stored
or manufactured over long periods of time but can sometimes be caused by
improper disposal or the illegal dumping of substances.
the site history indicates the land may be contaminated due to a past land use
you should have a contaminated land consultant carry out an investigation. The
consultant will review the history of the site including its current and recent
land uses and make a decision about what things, if any, need to be
are basically four stages of site investigation:
has a register that identifies sites where the land use, present or past, may
have the potential to contaminate land.
People can apply to find out if their land is on the register but it
must be noted that a site can be contaminated and not be on the register.
expert advice. A properly qualified and practising contaminated land consultant
is able to provide advice about the types and levels of contamination that are
safe for different types of land uses and what you need to do to make sure your
land is safe for you to use.
considers whether land has the potential to be contaminated when an application
to change the land use zone to a more sensitive land use is submitted to
council. For example, when an application to change land from an industrial use
to residential is received. Council
would consider the need for a Preliminary Investigation to be carried out. In
these situations the applicant engages a consultant to carry out the
investigation and submit a report to council as part of the application
How does Council protect land from becoming contaminated?
a Development Application (DA) is submitted to council for a use that council
considers may have the potential to contaminate land, certain conditions of
consent are included on the approval. The aim of the conditions is to minimise
the chance of land becoming contaminated and will typically include
requirements for the proper storage of harmful substances and the proper disposal
of waste materials.