Key messages

  • Contaminated land is often a result of poor awareness in the past about protecting our environment.
  • Contaminated land is not automatically a health risk – it depends on the levels of the contaminants in the soil.
  • Councils need to manage contaminated land consistently, effectively and transparently. Managing risks associated with land contamination: guidance for councils helps councils do this.

Contaminated land is often a byproduct of our industrial past – at a time when our awareness about protecting the environment was much lower than it is now.

When soil contains elevated levels of metals or other substances, it does not automatically mean that a human health risk exists. However, there is increased public awareness of the potential for soil contamination, especially in areas where children spend time or play.

Councils need to manage contaminated land consistently, effectively and transparently. To do this, they should develop policies and procedures specific to their municipality to deal with potentially contaminated sites. Careful planning and early community engagement are essential.

Managing risks associated with land contamination: guidance for councils provides the tools to assist local councils in developing a policy and procedure for effectively managing contaminated sites.

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