The City of Newcastle has awarded a tender to remediate a former landfill site at Shortland, a project expected to help protect the health of the nearby Hunter Wetlands.

The former Astra Street landfill opened in 1974, taking waste from across the Hunter until it was closed in 1995.

Preliminary investigations undertaken in 2021 indicated that the scale of work required to improve the 20 year old capping and drainage on the 37h site would be significantly more complex and costly than previously expected.

City of Newcastle Acting Director of Infrastructure and Property, Joanne Rigby, said the project was an important priority for protecting the long-term health of the nearby RAMSAR-listed Hunter Wetlands, with $18.6 million allocated in the draft 2022/23 Budget towards the costs of the remediation work.

“City of Newcastle is committed to not only ensuring today’s waste is managed with the environment front-of-mind, but that historic sites like Astra Street at Shortland also adhere to modern environmental management standards,” Ms Rigby said.

“These works will allow City of Newcastle to help protect and maintain the local environment well into the future, safeguarding the water quality of surrounding wetlands and aquatic ecosystems, increasing biodiversity values and promoting long-term native vegetation growth.”

City of Newcastle has been working with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) on a plan to remediate the site to ensure adherence to modern environmental management standards.

Two detailed design alternatives for the capping solution were developed being a geosynthetic clay lining, and a clay capping solution.

The successful tenderer will deliver a clay capping solution to meet environmental requirements reducing cost and risk compared to the alternate geosynthetic clay lining solution.

Works will include the final capping and reprofiling of the site, drainage improvements to aid in management of surface water and sediment runoff, followed by revegetation and landscaping.

Work is scheduled to commence in July and is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.


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