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Frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions – Site Remediation and Demolition Project

What is happening?

CSIRO is planning to sell part of its Highett site as part of its plan to streamline its Victorian operations. To prepare for the sale of the site, CSIRO is undertaking clean-up and demolition works to ensure the land is in a safe condition for the new owner.

Why is the project needed?

As a responsible property owner, CSIRO must ensure the Highett 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 will the project involve?

The project will involve demolishing all buildings within the CSIRO Highett site and safely removing materials like asbestos, lead paint and concrete from this area in line with current requirements and regulations.

We will complete the work in three stages. Stage 1 was the initial site mobilization and detailed assessment of structures prior to any demolition activities. Stage 2 involved removing 31 buildings from the northern end of the site. Stage 3 will involve removing 30 buildings from the southern end of the site including remaining soil and structures from the Stage 2 works.

Why has a further stage been added to the project?

Following community feedback, CSIRO has expanded the scope of the clean-up and demolition project to include the removal of all buildings on the site rather than just 27 buildings at the northern end of the site.

By expanding the scope of the project, CSIRO will now ensure all hazardous materials are removed in line with current regulations and all buildings are safely demolished.

How long will the project take?

Stages 1 & 2 are now complete. Stage 3 is scheduled to commence in August 2017 with completion expected in October 2018.  We will keep the local community updated as works progress.

What hours will you be working?

Works will be carried out between 7am and 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 3pm Saturdays, as required.

How will you ensure the community is kept safe during the works?

CSIRO and PSG Holdings 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 understand the works will have an impact on staff and the local community, especially in relation to noise, dust and traffic. A range of measures will be put in place during the works to minimise impacts on the community.

Some of the measures include:

-Erecting fencing 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 and noise monitoring during demolition works to ensure they comply with Australian Standards.

– We will work closely with the appointed contractor to minimise impacts on staff and the community.

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.

Initial arborist assessments of the project area have revealed that some trees may need to be removed to ensure the safety of the local community. These trees are located in close proximity to the buildings being demolished and there is the risk that the works may impact the trees foundation.

CSIRO has engaged an independent arborist who will be consulted prior to any tree removal taking place on site.

Will there be increased traffic movements during the works?

There will be an increase in traffic and heavy vehicle movements during the works.

Our main aim is to ensure heavy vehicles take the shortest route to major roads to minimise impacts on local traffic. It is planned for trucks to enter and exit the site via the Nepean Highway, Bay Road and Graham Road. They will access the CSIRO Highett site through the gate located on Graham Road.

We will have traffic management located at the gate located along Graham 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 Highett 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.

CSIRO has engaged an independent licenced asbestos assessor who will monitor the removal of hazardous materials and ensure this work is completed in line with current regulations and WorkSafe requirements.

This company is experienced in removing hazardous materials in close proximity to houses and will put appropriate measures in place to ensure the safety of the local community.

Some of these measures include:

Setting up exclusion zones within the Highett site.

Using air-monitoring devices to assess the surrounding environment. Air monitoring will be conducted in line with Australian Standards and WorkSafe requirements.

Placing guards over stormwater drains.

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.

I received a letter for you to undertake a property condition inspection at my property. What does this mean?

In November 2015, CSIRO offered to complete a property condition inspection at a number of properties in close proximity to the stage 1 & 2 demolition works. The purpose of this inspection is to record the baseline condition of these properties before demolition works starts. In November 2016, CSIRO offered to complete a property condition inspection at a number of properties in close proximity to the stage 3 demolition works.

I’m in close proximity to the stage 3 works and have not received a letter about a property condition inspection?

If you have not received a letter regarding a property condition report and would like to have your property considered please email highettworks@csiro.au.

What does a property condition inspection involve?

Property condition inspections involve two inspections, one before works commence and one after works are complete. The first inspection involves a visual assessment of properties to document their condition prior to the commencement of demolition and clean up works. Accessible internal and external areas of properties will be visually inspected and existing cracking, subsidence or damage photographed. The nature, extent and location of property condition inspection will be recorded and a copy of the audit related to your property
 will be made available to you.

What will happen to the site once the works are complete?

CSIRO is planning to sell off its Highett site with a significant portion of the site to remain as conservation and public open space.

What will happen to the site once it is sold?

Once the site is sold, CSIRO does not have a say in what happens to the site. The buyer of the site will be required to liaise with Bayside City Council to discuss future plans.

How will you keep me informed about the project as it progresses?

We will keep the local community informed about the project as it progresses through letters, newsletters, door knocks and the project website (http://wp.csiro.au/highettworks/)

Where can I get more information about the project?

If you would like more information about the project, please contact a member of the project team on 1300 363 400 or email highettworks@csiro.au.