Bundjalung National Park ordnance removal: Public consultation

A Review of Environmental Factors for the processing and removal of exploded ordnance from Bundjalung National Park is open for consultation until 9 November 2018.

Public exhibition of the Review of Environmental Factors provides an important opportunity for members of the community to have a say in relation to this activity proposed by the Department of Defence. The Department of Defence is the proponent and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is the determining authority for this activity under Part 5 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

The Department of Defence has used part of Bundjalung National Park for Air Force training operations since 1940. Although the Department of Defence has 2 leases within Bundjalung National Park, the proposed activity will occur outside of these leases.

Defence are proposing to undertake sorting and processing of existing Exploded Ordnance Waste stockpiles remaining from Air Force training activities. Most materials will be processed by a mobile incinerator in Bundjalung National Park before being transferred offsite to be recycled at an Environment Protection Authority (EPA) licensed facility.

In the operational phase of the project, heavy vehicles will access the site via The Gap Road, with smaller vehicles potentially accessing via the north gate through Evans Head. There are two main worksites within the Bundjalung National Park. One is on Target Road, which where exploded ordnance has been stockpiled for many years. This is considered a contamination risk to the national park. The second site is the processing location on North Gate Road, about 2.5 kilometres by road north of the stockpile site and 1.6 kilometres from the park boundary. This site is a helipad used by NPWS for aerial operations including wildfire management, prescribed burns, and pest and weed management.

After sorting and removing non-hazardous materials for disposal, an estimated 300 tonnes of exploded ordnance will be moved from the Target Road stockpiles to the helipad worksite on North Gate Road. The ground where the stockpiles have been sitting will be excavated to remove contaminated soil. At North Gate Road, the exploded ordnance will be treated in a mobile incinerator called a Waste Ordnance Light Flashing Furnace (WOLFF) to ensure that it is free from explosives and can be transported safely offsite. The treated ordnance will then be trucked out of the park to the licensed metal recycling facility.

What opportunities will the community have to comment?

The Review of Environmental Factors is on public exhibition until 9 November 2018 and anyone can review this document and provide comments.

What happens next?

At the end of the public exhibition period in November 2018, NPWS will comprehensively review all submissions, prepare a submissions report and request further information if necessary from the Department of Defence.

NPWS will Determine the Review of Environmental Factors, based on its review of the documents and the information provided in submissions. If the Determination recommends that the activity may proceed, a licence will be issued for this activity under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. If approved, the project is expected to take 3-6 months to complete.

How can I get more information about the proposal?

For further information on the proposed activity please contact the NPWS Richmond River Area Manager on 02 6627 0200 or email npws.richmondriver@environment.nsw.gov.au.

Where can I see a printed copy of the Review of Environmental Factors?

Hard copies are available for viewing at the following locations:

  • Evans Head Public Library, 19 Woodburn St, Evans Head 2473
  • Woodburn Post Office, 85 River Street, Woodburn 2472
  • National Parks and Wildlife Service, Level 4, 49 Victoria Street, Grafton 2460
  • Richmond Valley Council, Corner Walker Street and Graham Place, Casino 2470

Copies of the document on CD can be requested from NPWS by phone 02 6627 0200 or post: PO Box 856 Alstonville NSW 2477

How can I comment on the Review of Environmental Factors?

Public exhibition of the Review of Environmental Factors is until 9 November 2018. You are invited to comment on the Review of Environmental Factors before this date.

While all submissions count, they are most effective when we understand your ideas and the outcomes you want for park management. Some suggestions to help you write your submission are:

  • Write clearly and be specific about the issues of concern to you.
  • Note which part or section of the Review of Environmental Factors your comments relate to.
  • Give reasoning in support of your points - this helps avoid misinterpretation and makes it easier for us to consider your ideas.
  • If you agree or support a particular part or mitigation measure in the Review of Environmental Factors, please tell us.
  • If you disagree, please tell us specifically what you disagree with and why you disagree.
  • It is very helpful to suggest solutions or alternatives to managing the issue if you can.

Your comments will be used by NPWS to assess the likelihood of the proposed activity causing a significant impact.

Your privacy

Your comments on the Review of Environmental Factors may include 'personal information'. OEH complies with the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 which regulates the collection, storage, quality, use and disclosure of personal information. For details see OEH and your privacy. The inclusion of personal information with your submission is voluntary but information that in some way identifies you may be gathered when you use our website or send us an email.

A summary of submissions and the content of individual submissions may be shown to the proponent in cases where it may assist in determining the Review of Environmental Factors. A summary of issues raised in public submissions may also be made publicly available during and after a determination has been made. If you wish your identity and personal information in your submission to be treated as confidential you must request your name be treated as confidential, and not include any of your personal information in the main text of the submission or attachments so that it can be easily removed.

If an application to access information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 requests access to your submission, your views about the release will be sought if you have indicated that you object to your submission being made public.

Have your say

Public exhibition is from 11 October 2018 to 9 November 2018.

You can provide your written submission in any of the following ways:

  • Post your written submission to:
    Area Manager
    Richmond River Area National Parks and Wildlife Service
    PO Box 856
    Alstonville NSW 2477.
  • Email your submission to: npws.richmondriver@environment.nsw.gov.au
  • Make a submission online by using the online form below.