Lots of fascinating facts have been compiled in the Channel Deepening environmental investigations.
Unfortunately, the study of past industrial uses which might have contributed contaminants to the Yarra sediments did not note that 506 Lorimer Street Fishermens Bend was used for uranium research from the 1940s to 1960s. As this past land use was not picked up by the study, the Channel Deepening project Yarra sediment sampling did not test for radioactive contaminants.
Investigations of 506 Lorimer Street in 1989 found radioactive contamination throughout the buildings and grounds and in a 380mm pipe leading to the Yarra. As a result, thousands of tonnes of contaminated soil were removed from the site. But there appears to have been no investigation or action taken on the nearby Yarra sediments.
Baykeeper calls for sediments near the stormwater pipe outlet to be tested to ensure there’s no risk to the Bay environment or people who eat fish from it.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Phone the Port of Melbourne Corporation Channel Deepening information line on (03) 9683 1538 and ask why processing of uranium was not mentioned in Appendix 36 of the Channel Deepening Supplementary Environment Effects Study…. AND
Phone the Office of the Environmental Monitor on (03) 9637 8235 and ask for a written summary of the scientific processes they’ve undertaken in the Yarra to rule out the need to test the sediments near Lorimer Street for radioactive contaminants.
DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH.