Frequently Asked Questions
What is happening?
The former CSIRO Textile and Fibre Technology facility at 1 Henry St, Belmont has been sold to development company Up Property. As part of the sale conditions, CSIRO is undertaking demolition and remediation of the site, to ensure the land is in a safe condition for the new owner.
How big is the site?
Before work started, the 6.2 hectare site, which borders Henry St, Reynolds and Colac Roads and abuts the back of properties in Marjorie Ave, comprised of a total building area of more than 22,000sqm. This included a mix of single and two-storey buildings including offices, laboratories, warehouse and amenities across 19 buildings.
Why is the project needed?
As a responsible property owner, CSIRO must ensure the Belmont site is in a safe condition prior to handing it over to a new owner. This includes removing any potentially hazardous materials located on the site.
What is involved in the project?
The project involves demolishing all buildings and services within the CSIRO Belmont site and safely removing materials like asbestos from this area in line with current requirements and regulations. Demolition was completed in 2017 and soil remediation work is underway.
What is the remediation work?
CSIRO is currently undertaking soil remediation work to remove hydrocarbons, from dry-cleaning fluid, identified in the soil in a small area of the site. This impacts an area of approximately 30m x 30m to a depth of about 11m. This project requires the preparation of the site for the Soil Vapour Extraction (SVE) project to commence including setting up site-sheds and amenities, construction of a haul road, demolition and removal of existing concrete slabs, removal of asbestos contaminated soil and erection of a large tent that is used to manage the vapour extraction process.
Soils have been excavated and stockpiled to enable filtration to remove the hydrocarbon vapours. Our contractors are testing soils to confirm whether any further excavation is needed. Due to heavy rain on the site, sampling has been delayed but is now continuing. Eventually the filtered soils will be replaced in the pit and compacted.
I’ve seen different workers go on to the site, who are they and how many people are involved in the project?
CSIRO has engaged the services of Enviropaciﬁc Services (EPS), a specialist infrastructure services company providing environmental remediation capabilities, to carry out the vapour extraction works at our Belmont site. The number of people on site will varying depending on the work required on the day.
How long will the project take?
The Soil Vapour Extraction project commenced in September 2019 and is expected to continue through until May 2020 subject to good weather conditions. Following this, further soil testing will take place to determine if any further works are needed.
What hours will you be working?
Works will be carried out Monday to Friday, between 7am and 5pm. Weekend work (Saturdays, 9am to 3pm), will be kept to a minimum.
How are you ensuring the community is kept safe during the works?
CSIRO has engaged the services of EnviroPacific Services and Jacobs to manage the project. Both organisations are committed to ensuring the safety of our workers and the local community during the works and will carry out all works in line with current regulations and WorkSafe requirements.
We have also engaged environmental consultants iRisC to provide additional, independent advice to CSIRO on the removal of asbestos from the site.
During extraction and ﬁltering process the processing, stockpiling and extraction periods, the environment will be monitored for hydrocarbons. The extraction system will be surrounded by noise reduction materials, such as hay bales, to minimise disruption to neighbours. Stockpiled materials around the site will be covered to control any water ingress, loss of soil and dust being windblown.
We understand the works will have an impact on local residents, especially in relation to noise, dust and traffic. A range of measures are in place during the works to minimise impacts on the community.
Some of the measures include:
- Erecting fencing with shade cloth around the work area
- Engaging an independent asbestos assessor to assist in the removal of hazardous materials
- Erecting signage around the site to inform workers and the community which areas are safe to access
- Using traffic management to direct workers and the community safely around the worksite and local area
- Performing dust, noise and vibration monitoring during demolition works to ensure they comply with Australian Standards.
- Pest control baits have been placed along the perimeter to eliminate vermin pest taking refuge in adjacent properties.
Will you be removing any trees?
CSIRO understands that trees are highly valued by the local community and will try and avoid tree removal where possible. We have liaised with the City of Greater Geelong and have engaged the services of an independent arborist to help with this project. Fences have been erected around some of the trees to protect them. We will update you on any outcomes.
Will there be a lot of trucks coming onto the site during the works?
There was significant heavy vehicle movement during the establishment phase of the current works, which has now predominantly ceased. Our main aim is to ensure heavy vehicles take the shortest route to major roads to minimise impacts on local traffic. Trucks enter and exit the site via a dedicated entrance on Colac Road.
We will have traffic management located at the gate located along Colac Road (as required) to ensure trucks and site vehicles can safely enter and exit the site.
Will parking be impacted during the works?
All site vehicles will be parked inside the CSIRO Belmont site to minimise impacts on local parking.
I live right next door to the site and am concerned about my health when hazardous materials are removed.
To ensure safe removal, CSIRO has engaged an industrial hygienist to oversee the removal works. The hygienist is on-site throughout the project and the removal work is being performed by a suitably qualified demolition contractor. The site area is fenced off to prevent unauthorised access and air monitoring sampling continues to be undertaken to ensure a safe environment exits at all times.
This company is experienced in removing hazardous materials in close proximity to houses and have appropriate measures in place to ensure the safety of the local community.
Some of these measures include:
- Using air-monitoring devices to assess the surrounding environment. Air monitoring will be conducted in line with Australian Standards and WorkSafe requirements
- Placing (geo cloth and straw bales) provide a guard over stormwater drains, capturing sediment from entering storm water
- Setting up a decontamination zone to clean up equipment and machinery used during the works
- Inspecting the site daily to ensure it complies with all relevant legislation, regulations and compliance codes
- Performing condition inspections (known as dilapidation audits) of properties adjacent to the site. A copy of the audit related to affected properties will be supplied to each property owner upon request
What are you doing to help prevent dust on-site?
Due to its elevated site position, winds are a constant factor on site. As the weather warms up we can also expect more warm northerlies and high winds. Mitigating dust is a daily focus. Hoses and sprinklers are used across the site to contain the dust. Sprinklers are also on timers which will be maintained when the site is unoccupied.
To combat dust issues and cross contamination, there is also a truck wash on the grounds. Each vehicle (truck or LV) which arrives on-site must travel through the truck wash, eliminating any dust or debris.
Are you monitoring the noise of the machinery?
An independent engineering consultancy conducts vibration testing at the site when the volume of trucks is significant. To-date all of the vibration and noise testing results have been within acceptable limits.
What will happen to the site once the works are complete?
CSIRO has sold the site to development company Up Property. It is understood it will be developed for residential use.
What will happen to the site?
Once the site is confirmed free of structures and hazardous materials CSIRO will transfer ownership of the site to Up Property and will no longer have an interest in this property. We expect that the transfer of the site will occur in the second half of 2020.
I have family and friends who are interested in living in the area. How can they find out more about the planned development?
How will you keep me informed about the project going forward?
We will be providing you with regular newsletter updates as the work progresses. Information about the project is also available at our website. For details visit https://wp.csiro.au/belmontworks/
Thank you for your patience while we carry out these important works. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us during business hours on 1300 363 400 or via email Belmontworks@csiro.au