I have never seen a snake in the gasworks. Seen loads of blue-tongues, and I’ve heard lots of swift rustling noises through the dry grass, and I do tend to wear closed-in shoes when I’m walking with Jambo. But never actually seen one. I was talking to one of the ELGAS blokes the other day; a mate had seen what he thought was a brown sunning itself by the gas bottles. When he went towards it old Joe Blake slithered off into the dense pines near former manager’s home. So, maybe, one day I’ll have an encounter.
As we got talking, me and the ELGAS bloke, he mentioned that they’d had a minor bombshell: they have to be off the site by June. I was as taken aback as he was, at first, but the more I thought about it the more I decided that it fit perfectly with the other dots that have been emerging around the gasworks site for a while.
The first dot followed the fire, late last year, in the wash-up building. It’s all gone now, though you can still see the gutters in the concrete where the basins once stood.
I got a phone call from someone connected with Jemena at the time of the fires (there were two of them) and we had a bit of a chat about various things. One of them was the possible use for the gasworks site, which is heavily polluted. The person I spoke to didn’t seem to think that rehabilitation would be much of an impediment to redevelopment although (almost as an aside) the idea of capping the place with bitumen and making it a park-and-ride station for the proposed transport hub was a possibility.
Then, in December we got a letterbox drop notifying us of major “improvements” to the junction at the bottom of Donald Street bridge. At first I thought it might have been something to do with the difficulty people have turning west onto Griffiths Road, especially the petrol tankers.
But the dots kept appearing, and I kept joining them. Given that the current NSW Government is extremely keen to push development of the rail site through this calendar year, I got to thinking about what the I’d talked about on the phone, and the road development, and quick-smart order for ELGAS to get off the gasworks site.
I think, dear Hamilton North residents, we can expect to see action at the eastern end of our suburb within the coming months. I also think we can expect to see more traffic if this does go ahead, particularly along Clyde Street and Chatham Road. I don’t think I’ll be to stand in the middle of Boreas Road at sunset and take a photo like this without being flattened.
(There’s nothing showing up on the NCC planning and DA site. Anyone got any other info?)