Public Works Committee: Flinders Ports (Inner Harbour Port Adelaide Title F) Site Remediation Project
Mr TRELOAR (Flinders) (11:29): I rise to make a contribution on the 29th report of the Public Works Committee in relation to the Flinders Ports project at Inner Harbour. In November 2001, Flinders Ports purchased the state’s commercial port infrastructure, which was previously operated by the South Australian Ports Corporation. As a consequence of this purchase, Flinders Ports was granted a 99-year lease over waterfront port lands, entering into individual port operating agreements with the then minister for transport.
In accordance with the South Australian ports business and asset sale agreement, the state government agreed to undertake the responsibility for the environmental liabilities and remediation of the leased land to a standard required for use as a port. Under this agreement, the responsibility lies with DPTI to undertake remediation, at its cost, to the satisfaction of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
In 2008, the state government transferred the leased waterfront port lands to Flinders Ports, with the process managed by the former Land Management Corporation. As part of this process, the sale agreement included an overriding deed (2008) stipulating the state government’s ongoing liabilities. This included DPTI retaining responsibility for environmental remediation of the waterfront port lands.
In 2010, the Crown Solicitor’s Office advised that the recommendations detailed in an environmental assessment undertaken by Golder Associates in 2004 established the objective remediation standard for these sites. The objective remediation standard imposed a limit on the nature of the remediation that DPTI was obliged to undertake to meet the EPA’s requirements while the sites continued to be utilised as ports. The Crown Solicitor’s Office advice also stated that the standard of remediation should only be to the level required for port operations as they were at the commencement of the lease of the port lands in 2001.
Of the Flinders Ports sites to be remediated, two remain outstanding, being the Inner Harbour Port Adelaide Title F site and Port Pirie Title H site. Remediation of the Inner Harbour Port Adelaide Title F site is ready to progress and therefore requires consideration by the Public Works Committee. I understand negotiation for the remediation of the Port Pirie site is continuing between DPTI and Flinders Ports. The Inner Harbour Port Adelaide Title F site is a 7.9-hectare port facility with approximately three hectares leased out to OneSteel Manufacturing Pty Ltd. The site is surrounded by shipping and bulk handling facilities and consists of two docks and five berths—berths 16 to 20—with adjoining sheds located adjacent to the Port River at Port Adelaide.
The capping of this site is considered necessary to satisfy DPTI’s environmental obligations and to finalise outstanding port infrastructure and land sale obligations in accordance with the overriding deed (2008). The ORS recommended that the Inner Harbour Port Adelaide Title F site undergo surface treatment of all unsealed areas of the entire site to cap ongoing impacts from slag and metal contaminated fill materials.
A 30-tonne carrying capacity pavement design would have been considered appropriate for the port operations in 2001. Since that time, however, Flinders Ports operations at Inner Harbour Port Adelaide have evolved to now include the use of heavy vehicles and machinery up to 80 tonnes. A pavement designed to accommodate 30-tonne carrying capacity with the ability to be readily converted to 80-tonne carrying capacity in the future is now proposed. That will be funded by Flinders Ports.
Remediation will involve the construction of a capping layer to suit port operations and provide long-term environmental risk management of contamination. The works include the construction of a pavement surface forming a capping layer to provide long-term environmental risk management of contamination. Following remediation, DPTI will retain the liability for the underlying contaminated material, and Flinders Ports will be liable for maintaining the integrity of the capping.
The proposed cost of the Flinders Ports Inner Harbour Port Adelaide Title F site remediation is $16.466 million, excluding GST. Following completion of the construction, operation and maintenance is expected to be signed over to Flinders Ports. That should occur from mid-2020 onwards. My understanding is that, based on the evidence considered and pursuant to section 12C of the Parliamentary Committees Act, the Public Works Committee recommends that the proposed public work go ahead.
My congratulations go to the committee members. They undertake many long and detailed considerations and reports. I also congratulate Flinders Ports on their ongoing work and support of export and port facilities in South Australia. I commend the report.