Former Newcastle Gasworks site being tested for contamination

Hamilton North resident Mark McLean at the old Newcastle Gasworks site.

Hamilton North resident Mark McLean at the old Newcastle Gasworks site.

THE owner of the former Newcastle Gasworks in Hamilton North has started environmental investigations at the site, testing for any possible contamination issues.

The Clyde Street address is certain to contain by-products from the manufacturing of gas on all or part of the land, despite closing down in 1985.

Australian infrastructure company Jemena inherited the site in 2006 as part of a business transaction.

It is now looking to remediate the land to make it suitable for sale in the future.

In August 2011 the NSW Environmental Protection Authority declared the site to be "significantly contaminated land" under the Contaminated Land Management Act (1997).

Hamilton North resident Mark MacLean said he was torn over what he would like to happen to the site.

As an avid dog walker, Mr MacLean said he often appreciated the wildlife he saw at the site, including wrens, honeyeaters and grey goshawks.

At the same time, he would like to see the "oozing filth" flowing off the site and into Styx Creek stop.

He would also like to see the iconic Gas and Coke building functioning again as a commercial centre.

"Like many old buildings in Newcastle, the Gas and Coke building has been left in a derelict state.

"It's full of potential and ain't doing nothing," he said.

Jemena will need to lodge planning applications with Newcastle City Council before it starts its first stage of remediation work later this year, with another lot scheduled for early 2015.

In the meantime Jemena plans to launch a website this month for the community to track its progress, which will be found at clyde-street-remediation.com.au when it goes live.

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