Bush work near the new Sydney Inner West Light Rail extension has been suspended after the discovery of harmful contaminants in the soil.
NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced that preliminary test results of soil samples taken from land adjacent to the defunct freight line, where rail extensions are now planned, showed “concerning levels” of lead, arsenic and asbestos.
Copper and hydrocarbons were also detected in the soil.
The government has immediately stopped volunteer bush rejuvenation efforts from individuals and community groups within Bushcare “at any RailCorp site across the State until further advice, and consultation with other Government agencies.”
“The land where stations will be built will be properly remediated as part of the construction, but I am acting today to minimise any potential risk to members of the community who have selflessly given their time to make their local environment more beautiful,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“I want to ensure no-one is exposed to any unnecessary risk either in the inner west, or elsewhere.”
Earlier this month, Ms Berejiklian announced an overhaul of Railcorp, citing unsustainable operating costs. She said RailCorp is one of the least cost effective systems in the world, operating at $10 million per day.