If any residents would like to discuss this issue please call 9411 3444.
SEEN MORE WILDLIFE LATELY?
Have you seen more wildlife in your area that may have been displaced due to recent land clearing such as Bobtails, Carnaby Cockatoos or Bandicoots? Concerned? Call 9474 9055.
A number of residents have raised concerns about the accuracy of the traffic and acoustic modelling for the Roe 8 Highway once operational. The City understands that the original acoustic plans are currently being reviewed and updated to reflect more recent and future traffic volumes. The updated plans will more accurately identify the requirement and design of any noise attenuation works, taking into account the traffic volumes and the proximity to residences and other noise sensitive premises.
The noise impacts upon residential properties from Roe 8 if/once constructed are currently proposed to be mitigated by noise attenuation walls and the type of road surface.
It is highly likely that even with noise attenuation walls in place that traffic noise will adversely impact into residential areas beyond the Roe 8 boundaries. Similar to the common protocols with the construction of major roads in WA, residents/occupiers who purchased land and constructed buildings in the knowledge that a freeway or major road is planned are unlikely to be eligible for financial compensation or acoustic treatment (this includes residences and noise sensitive premises such as schools or childcare centres).
Landowners who claim to have owned and developed land prior to the original planning decision of the State Government to reserve the land for Roe 8 may be eligible for compensation however any such claim would be assessed and determined by the State Government.
The City will request Main Roads WA undertakes detailed acoustic modelling to determine the likely noise impacts on surrounding residential properties and the City will work with the State Government to provide advice to residents on the most cost effective acoustic treatment of their homes.
The Roe 8 contractor is currently carrying out works associated with the project at night time because of worker safety and to minimise severe traffic congestion. These works are only for the installation of traffic barriers and geotechnical penetrometer testing at the Roe 8 interchange with the Kwinana Freeway and at the intersection of Stock Road and Forrest Road. The geotechnical penetrometer testing involves the continuous pushing of a solid cone (approximately 40 mm diameter) to a nominated target depth of approximately 20 m. Once the target depth has been reached, the cone is withdrawn from the ground and the area is backfilled. The traffic barrier installation works on the Kwinana Freeway commenced on Monday 6 February and will continue for 3-4 weeks and the penetrometer testing is scheduled to commence Monday 27 February, taking approximately one week to complete.
The Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations include a clause that allows works to be carried out at night time to allow essential infrastructure to be constructed and/or maintained across the state. In the majority of cases this involves works on road and rail infrastructure. The most important factor for consideration in an application for night works is that the works must in the first place be completely necessary based upon worker/road safety and/or to minimise potential traffic congestion. It is common for the works to firstly involve the installation of concrete barriers to allow the road works to proceed safely during the day time. These night time applications are not common because of potential impacts on residents and also because night time works are much more expensive than undertaking the same works during the day.
The contractors are required to use the machinery which is the quietest reasonably available and must make all efforts to minimise noise. In all cases the City requires an applicant to provide a map showing all properties projected to receive noise that is predicted to exceed the permitted night time levels. All of these properties are required to receive a notification letter advising them about the works and providing a contact number to call for complaints and/or more information. In the case of these works over 2,000 notification letters have been distributed to residents.
These works are not for clearing of vegetation or road construction works at night time. The City is not the approving authority for the works associated with Roe 8, but has assessed the applications for night time works to ensure that residents are notified and protected from unreasonable noise wherever possible. Conditions on the approval include a requirement that concerns raised by residents are passed on to the City and if substantial noise complaints are received then noise monitoring will be required. If at any time the City considers that noise impacts on residents is unreasonable then the approval could be revoked and the works program stopped. Residents who live in the area near to the works but have not received notification letters are not predicted to be impacted by noise that exceeds the permitted night time levels.
It is important for residents who receive a notification letter to liaise directly with the contractor via the contact details provide in the letter. This is because the works program may be subject to change due, for example, to unseasonal heavy rains such as early in February.
The Office of the Environmental Protection Authority (OEPA) is the State Government Agency responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Roe Highway Extension.
The OEPA has auditors on site every day when works are occurring.
Any enquiries about compliance with various Management Plans within the Ministerial Approval should be made to the OEPA.
Phone 6145 0800 (and ask for Compliance Section) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Roe 8 Project is being carried out by the State Government with all the necessary approvals in place. The City has indicated that it does not support the project but we are unable to legally prevent the clearing or any other part of the works. Residents and protesters who claim to have identified breaches of any of the approved Management Plans have requested that the City use this information to stop the works.
The City does not have the legal authority to enter the project area to carry out any investigations, or to make any demands of either the State Government or the Contractors to stop works.
Given the high level of community concern, on Thursday 9 February 2017 the City collected dust samples from 18 different locations across Coolbellup, North Lake and Hamilton Hill.
The purpose of the sampling program was to provide the community with an independent assessment as to whether there are any issues relating to wind borne asbestos associated with the Roe 8 clearing works. The results indicate that NO asbestos fibres were detected in any of the dust samples.
The City believes that these results give the community confidence that asbestos associated with the Roe 8 clearing works does not represent a public health risk.
The City officers initially raised concerns about this issue with the contractor. Having consulted with the contractor, Worksafe and Department of Health, the City officers are satisfied with the process in place to deal with dumped asbestos containing materials in the bush. The City is aware that the contractor carried out dust monitoring and that this was checked by Worksafe and concluded that asbestos fibres have not been detected in dust samples collected.
The City has formally requested a report to confirm this but the contractor has not yet provided this information. Based upon normal practices in these circumstances City officers would not require dust monitoring to be carried out because approval would not be given to do the clearing works until after 1 April and all conditions of approval would focus upon ensuring that dust is not discharged in the first place.
Following further consultation with the Department of Health and with high levels of experience dealing with dumped asbestos materials in the bush, City officers are confident that the public health risks associated with the small number of fibres potentially released by the movement of fragments and possibly breaking some fragments are extremely low to negligible.
Fibres are not released in significant numbers in these circumstances because they are bound within the cement glue.
The City does not have any authority to take any action in relation to dust from the clearing works other than to report incidents to the relevant State Government agencies and request that action be taken under the Environmental Protection Act. The City officers are regularly monitoring the works and will respond to complaints from residents.
Evidence of non compliance will be gathered and lodged immediately with relevant agencies. More details below on DUST.
The City has formally requested that the contractor for Main Roads WA (MRWA) follow the City's normal process for clearing bush and or/carrying out bulk earthworks.
The contractor has agreed in principle to abide by this process not withstanding that the City's normal head of powers for dust management is the Local Government Act which does not bind the Crown.
The contractor however has indicated that they do not intend to follow the City's normal process of lodging an application for approval of a Dust Management Plan.
The City has assessed the contractors preliminary proposal to clear bush and concluded that the works are a very high risk of causing unreasonable emissions of dust adversely impacting upon nearby residences.
The risk is so high that the works would not comply with the City's policy and would be subject of a moratorium preventing high risk works from being carried out during the summer period of 1 October to 31 March.
The City has provided the contractor with a set of typical conditions that would reduce dust emissions, including: notifying nearby residents about the works, erecting wind fencing, works halted on very windy days, adequate supply of water and water trucks, soil is stabilised with Gluon liquid or hydromulch, establishment of a complaints process, work to cease when residents are clearly being impacted by dust, and where necessary the works be split into smaller more manageable areas.
The contractor has indicated they have been instructed to carry out the works in the near future even though this breaches the City's moratorium.
The City does not approve of these works until after 1 April 2017 (until after its dust moratorium finishes) at the earliest.
The City has significant concerns about the impact of dust from the clearing works on the health of neighbouring residents who are located less than 50m downwind of the works.
The City has extensive experience of this type of clearing causing extensive dust pollution and associated health impacts including asthma in susceptible children.
The soil in these uncleared bush areas is extremely fine and prone to lift off. These works should not be carried out until Autumn/Winter when winds are seasonally lower velocity and the soil is more likely to be wet with rain.
The City is unable to take action to prevent these works therefore it calls upon the Office of the EPA (OEPA) and the Department of Environment Regulation (DER) to enforce the pollution provisions in the Environmental Protection Act.
City officers will respond to complaints about dust from its residents and evidence gathered will be provided to DER with a request for action if DER officers are unable to investigate.
On Tuesday, 17 January and Friday 20 January 2017 in response to complaints from residents, a City officer witnessed dust from mulching operations considered to be unreasonable and under normal circumstances, the City would issue instructions to a contractor to cease operating immediately.
There was no evidence of any water trucks or any wetted sand in the cleared areas. The officers experienced dust settling on them and irritating their eyes. A request was sent to the Roe 8 Project Environmental Manager about intentions to improve dust control without delay. The City contacted MRWA, OEPA and DER about the unreasonable dust emissions from the works at the Roe 8 Extension and requested that they investigate and take appropriate action without delay.
The City of Cockburn and Department of Health have investigated asbestos management processes being implemented by the Roe 8 contractors.
The established process in these circumstances is for the contractor to check the area for the presence of asbestos containing materials and to collect and remove it for disposal at an approved landfill site.
These checks are carried out before and during the works and additional checks are carried out for the small number of fragments that may have been undetected because they were unable to be seen until the vegetation is removed.
Where suspected asbestos is found during any of these stages and cannot be easily removed, the area is quarantined until further investigations are complete to determine the most appropriate remediation method. The method considers the risk to both the community and contractor staff.
Where the site has been cleared and will not be accessed again for some time, the Roe 8 Contractors apply a dust suppressant to stabilise the exposed soil.
The Roe 8 Contractors have advised that the persons checking for asbestos are properly trained and experienced, and ongoing asbestos awareness education is being provided to other workers to ensure that they check for the presence of asbestos throughout the stages of clearing and bulk earthworks. They also are undertaking air monitoring and have asbestos specialist consultants and an occupational hygienist engaged to assist with these works.
A senior Worksafe inspector has visited the site on more than one occasion and has not identified any breaches of the safety and health laws. Worksafe is satisfied that Building Roe 8 is effectively managing any suspected asbestos discovered at the site, as work progresses.
The City and Department of Health are confident that the contractors have undertaken necessary measures to ensure that any asbestos found in the bush has been safely removed and that asbestos does not represent a risk to public health.
The asbestos management processes will continue to be implemented throughout the Roe 8 project because it is common for asbestos to be found dumped in these bush areas.
Residents should be guided by the Department of Health information sheet called
If any residents would like to discuss this issue please call 9411 3444.
The City is opposed to the Roe 8 project and therefore in principle sympathises with people who choose to peacefully and lawfully protest against it. The original protest camp was closed by the State Government on Monday 16 January 2016 and the protesters were given very little time to find alternative locations.
Representatives of the protesters requested permission from the City to relocate the camp to Bassett Reserve.
The City gave approval for the camp to set up on Bassett reserve for the following reasons:-
The camp organisers chose to replace the camp with a day time hub for protesters to gather and the camp closed on 20 January.
The City has not provided any materials, including toilets, to the camp.