Despite making numerous commitments to sustainability, Fraser’s have failed to control environmentally damaging stormwater runoff from their redevelopment of the Carlton United Breweries site on Broadway (see images). Below is a media release on the matter that I sent out last week. Many thanks to local sustainability expert Michael Mobbs for bringing this matter to my attention and for this article he recently published on the topic.
Greens Councillor Chris Harris wants the City of Sydney to issue a please explain to the Frasers Property Group after torrents of sediment laden storm water were seen leaving their development at the Carlton United Breweries (CUB) site on Broadway during recent heavy rain. Clr Harris says that the stormwater pollution, which overflowed from the site into gutters and street drains leading to Blackwattle Bay, is completely at odds with the claims of sustainability that Fraser’s have repeatedly used in relation to the development.
Several years ago Fraser’s committed to a number of sustainability goals following litigation, organised by Clr Harris and commenced by Matthew Drake Brockman – a Sydney Law student. Cr Harris: “These goals included the capture and recycling of rainwater from the site but Fraser’s failure to effectively manage the recent torrent of pollution casts a cloud over whether they are really serious about this.
“It’s disappointing to see that Fraser’s feel the sustainability goals they committed to don’t yet matter because the development isn’t yet completed. It may take up to 15 years to complete and I don’t think the environment is going to wait.
“The fact that the development isn’t yet complete won’t make a lick of difference to the marine environments of Blackwattle Bay that received several million litres of sediment laden stormwater from the bare dirt at the site over the last few weeks. Who knows what contaminants this torrent contains? I also worry about whether or not the rain caused the heritage sewer line that runs through the site to overflow, adding raw sewage to the stormwater that Fraser’s failed to stop.”
Clr Harris said that plans for the construction of a massive new stormwater drain prompted further questions about Fraser’s intentions for the project.
Cr Harris: “In May this year Fraser’s announced that they were going to spend 6-7 months, working 7 nights a week, to build a new stormwater drain along 200m of Abercrombie Street. Six months to build 200m of drain makes me think that this must be one hell of a drain. Why would a site that’s going to be capturing most of it’s rainwater need such a huge drain?”
“Fraser’s claim to have put in additional silt traps and redirected runoff in response to the heavy rain, but attached photos show that this work was either too little, too late or both. The same goes for the site’s holding pond, which is far too small to be effective. “Both these examples show that the planning work put in to ensure that the site was sustainable during construction was inadequate.” Clr Harris said.
“A true commitment to sustainability starts when the first sod is turned. It doesn’t mean you wait around for a decade while you finish building before you clean up your act. I’ll be keeping a close eye on the CUB site now and will make sure any further episodes like this aren’t swept under the rug.” Clr Harris said.