No movement on removal of contaminated fill at Springwood Country Club

Confusion abounds in dealing with fill, allegedly contaminated with asbestos, dumped at Springwood Country Club in February.

Last week covers over the fill had blown off, but the general manager of Springwood Country Club, Greg McCallum, said staff had been instructed to put them back on, and on August 8, council sprayed the area with a PVC solution.

Mr McCallum said a fence around the area would be going up on August 9.

But when the fill might be removed, is anyone's guess.

Mr McCallum said the club were waiting on the EPA (Environmental Protection Authority) and Western Sydney Regional Illegal Dumping Squad to complete an investigation into the dumping and identification of the fill before it could be removed.

"No timetable is in place by any of the regulatory bodies to get this fixed," he said.

"It's not our job to drive the pace of it."

He said there had been a three-month extension from August for the authorities to conduct their investigation.

Blue Mountains Council who own the land, but lease the club and course to the country club, wants the fill removed immediately.

"If the fill can be taken away, I want the club to do it. Now," said Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill. "The EPA and the club need to tell us what the plan is and what the EPA's requirements are."

But the club's general manager said it was out of his hands. "The removal of it is not our call, it's the call of the EPA," Mr McCallum said.

Cr Greenhill said the golf course must continue to be available for public use. "The golf course is an important community facility and the council wishes to ensure that it continues to be available for public use and enjoyment," he said. "The club recently asked the council for a significant loan to maintain facilities. We have said yes to this request. However, this matter relating to the contaminated fill needs to be addressed now."

An EPA spokesman said: "On 26 February 2019, Western Sydney Regional Illegal Dumping Squad issued a clean-up notice to SCC [Springwood Country Club] that included removing all of the contaminated soil from the property. The investigation of this matter does not preclude compliance with the clean-up notice.

"The EPA continues to work with BMCC and the SCC to develop an agreed approach for the remediation of the contaminated material."

A spokesman for the Western Sydney RID Squad said the club was instructed to remove and dispose of the waste by May 31, and was given an extension until August 31. "As a result of the increasing complexity of the investigation, the matter was referred to the EPA in May 2019, and the investigation is currently ongoing with the EPA," he said.