Millions more in funding to remediate contaminated sites at Rutherford and Waratah

The NSW Government has come good on their promise to clean up two heavily polluted former industrial sites in the Hunter.

About $42 million will be put towards cleaning up the sites at Rutherford and Waratah through the Property and Development NSW (PDNSW) and Crown Lands in the Department of Planning and Environment.

$19 million alone will be spent at the Truegain site at Rutherford over the next three years to finish remediating the processing plant.

The government acquired the site in 2020 and already the first stage of cleaning up the site has finished with 135 contaminated tanks filled with wastewater, toxic oil, grease and sludge demolished and removed from the site.

Meantime, $23.3 million has been allocated over the next three years towards remediating the old Waratah Gasworks.

That funding will go towards the remediation work which will be undertaken in stages with works at seven properties on the south of Ellis Road forecast to be completed by mid-2024.

Former Waratah Gasworks

Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison said she has been pushing for the Rutherford site to be remediated since the problems arose.

“Like many former industrial sites, materials deposited at the Truegain site left lasting contamination that threatened the local area and the health of the people who live here, and our focus is to clean them up to protect residents, workers and the environment.

“The Truegain project has so far included the treatment of over 9,200 kilolitres of industrial wastewater and disposal of over 2,000 tonnes of toxic oil, grease and sludge waste, which is the equivalent of about five Olympic swimming pools.”

There’s also some funding going towards dealing with legacy asbestos pollution on the Walka Water Works reserve at Oakhampton Heights near Maitland.

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