Oral Presentation Australasian Groundwater Conference 2017

Fishermans Bend: regional-scale groundwater assessment and regulatory considerations (#12)

Anne Northway 1 , Eleanor Pritchard 1 , Ernie Sanchez 1
  1. EPA Victoria, Carlton, VICTORIA, Australia

Fishermans Bend is Australia’s largest urban renewal project, covering about 485 hectares in central Melbourne. The Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) aids the cross-government Fishermans Bend Taskforce. As part of this, EPA oversaw a groundwater study across the initial area of Fishermans Bend (part 1), and is overseeing part 2 in the Employment Precinct.

This presentation will discuss key elements of Victoria’s regulatory process for the groundwater study, the findings of the assessment and how EPA is using the results to inform the community and make regulatory decisions.

The presentation will discuss the objectives of the groundwater study: determine the district-wide baseline groundwater quality, particularly focusing on the shallow groundwater table in contact with fill material; confirm the protected and precluded beneficial uses of groundwater across the district; understand the potential risk of groundwater contamination to surface water receptors; and, how these were met.

We will discuss the results of the groundwater study in Fishermans Bend. Key factors in the regulatory framework that are considered as part of the risk-based decision making by EPA include: the condition of groundwater, and the ability of EPA to identify a groundwater quality restricted use zone (GQRUZ). We will discuss the probability of realising the beneficial uses, land uses in the area, potential impact to the nearest surface water receptors, and consultation with affected stakeholders .

The Fishermans Bend groundwater study and application of the regulatory framework has aided the regulator in understanding the current condition of groundwater at a regional scale. We will discuss how EPA will use the groundwater quality information obtained to make robust and timely regulatory decisions, how it will be able to be used by environmental consultants and developers to aid in site remediation and provide information to the community.

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