It’s all happening

It doesn’t take much of a rain to fill the sinkholes and disused access areas in the gasworks. Within 24 hours of a downpour the roar and scrape and boom of frogs is almost deafening.


The gasworks is a disgrace; a polluted and filthy slurry of toxins and poisons that leaches who knows how many kinds of carcinogens into the creek and the water table around Hamilton North. But it’s the only place within a couple of kilometre radius where you’ll hear six species of frog going at it hammer and tongs.

Which leaves me in something of a quandary. Its its proximity to the creek and the unused lands around the railway line have made it a haven for flora and fauna. There’s no scrub, shrubs or bushes in our fancified gardens and so there’s nowhere for the wrens and silvereye and honeyeaters. There’s no cover for mice and rabbits, frogs and toads, the ordinary critters that make up the base of the food pyramid for the raptors and mammal predators. So, dirty is how I like it.

But of course I don’t want it to be dirty forever, which is why I felt ambivalent when I heard the news of its impending clean up.

Jemena Pty Ltd, the energy retail company that inherited the site, has entered a voluntary agreement with the EPA to remediate the site to a point where it could be sold and some kind of commercial activity take place upon it. Quite what form this remediation will take is as yet unknown, hence the flurry of activity over there in recent weeks.

If you’d like to find out more, or have any comments, concerns or queries, Jemena is holding a community drop-in session at Hamilton Nroth Bowling Club on Tuesday, 24 June between 4 and 7 pm.

Watch this space for more.

In other news, the annual Vintage Tweed Ride is on again (here are some pictures from last year).

Just get yourself kitted out in your bestest olden-time clothes and cock your leg across your favouritest olden-time velocipede and meet at Islington Park, 10 am this Sunday. If you’re struggling to find an olden time bike then just head down the creek. There’s a variety of parts there on a daily basis.

IMG_6695Toot toot!



2 Responses to It’s all happening

  1. Jenny Williams says:

    Hi Mark

    Just wanted to say Thanks for your alert about the Community Drop-in Session held by Jemena last night which fortunately I was able to attend briefly as the weather meant an earlier than planned return home to Sydney. I have owned a house in the area for nigh on 30 years (originally born and bred in Islington). I have found your blog very interesting since I picked up on it in late 2012 after hearing your interview with Richard Fidler about your book “A Year Down the Drain”.

  2. Mark MacLean says:

    Hi Jenny

    Nice to hear from you, and glad the blog’s useful.

    The meeting was pretty low key; I think Jemena were pleasantly surprised by the level of interest (must admit I was too; I thought they’d get hardly anyone). They and the Shell fuel people have both entered into voluntary agreements with the EPA to clean up their sites and then clear out. What “clean” means will depend on the agreement, and what’s practicable and cost efficient. My best guess is that it’ll be a cap-and-contain, or concrete curtain, to stop more goo coming out, rather than soil remediation (expensive) or trucking the soil to Somewhere Else.

    Keep dropping in; I’ll keep you posted as things progress.


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