New park set for Warner

Published 2:00pm 16 December 2022

New park set for Warner
Words by Jodie Powell
Image above: Google Images

Warner will be home to a new park after Moreton Bay Regional Council voted to take control of a plot of land that’s home to a containment cell.

The vote took place as part of debate over an application by Mordar Developments for a material change of use for land at 123 Kremzow Rd.

The change of use, from Mixed Industry and Business Precinct, will pave the way for the former sandblasting site adjacent a quarry to be developed for housing.

An officers’ report to this week’s Council meeting shows an indicative multiple dwelling plan, with up to 20 homes in a body corporate arrangement, in a precinct adjacent to the cell.

Councillor Cath Tonks raised concerns about the arrangement, saying managing a containment cell should not be the responsibility of future owners and that the current owners should remove debris contained in the pit from the site.

What’s in the pit

It contains contaminated spent abrasives, road base and soils containing heavy metals, including zinc and minor lead, copper and arsenic, from abrasive blasting and protective coating activities.

The third-party review found residential development is suitable directly adjacent to the cell.

The cell is subject to a State Government Department of Environment and Sciences Site Management Plan which mandates regular monitoring to ensure the land remains safe for the public.

Councillor Mick Gillam also said it was not fair for a small number of residences to be responsible for “a problem created by the developer”.

“I, along with Cr Tonks have grave concerns with attaching a containment cell to the (future) Body Corporate,” Cr Gillam said.

“(The developer) should be getting rid of the contamination as far as I am concerned.”

Independent review says it’s safe

Planning director David Corkill asked councillors to consider whether forcing the developer - as foreshadowed in a proposed amendment by Cr Tonks - to remove the pit was “reasonable and relevant”, or whether it was likely to prompt an appeal.

He said officers had sought independent third-party advice about the safety of the cell’s contents and its structural integrity.

Officer advice was that the developer had spent about $200,000 to make the clay-lined pit, which extends about 7pm below ground, safe about 10 years ago.

Mayor Peter Flannery urged councillors to vote against forcing the applicant to remove the cell, saying they should trust the research.

“We seal our tips and put sporting fields there and let kids play on them,” he said.

“There’s a lot of scaremongering out there by the community, who have not read all the details of all of this and have not read the reports saying it’s safe.”

“They have, like usual, been getting their issues around a couple of words saying ‘contaminated site’ and then they have gone and hit the Henny Penny button and the sky’s fallen.”

Motion defeated

Cr Tonk’s motion that the developer remove the cell’s contents was defeated five votes in favour to eight against, prompting a new amendment from Cr Gillam that Council take ownership of the land and the applicant make an appropriate contribution to Council for monitoring, maintenance and potential remediation on the site in perpetuity.

The new motion was passed 10 votes to three, with councillors Matt Constance, Darren Grimwade and Cath Tonks voting against, also paving the way for the property to be rezoned.

Earlier in the meeting, councillors unanimously approved a similar application by developer Ausbuild for a change of use from Rural Residential Zone to Dwelling House, Home Based Business, Park, Sales Office and Utility Installation for the adjacent property on a quarry site.

That site will be subdivided into 195 lots.

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