Media Releases

Community needs certainty on Barracks sale

November 20, 2018

With the Hon Ms Di Farmer MP and Cr Kara Cook.

Prospective purchasers of the Bulimba Barracks must be left in no doubt of the masterplan requirements and contamination on the site, local representatives have said.
"With the site finally being put up for sale, the community now wants certainty and assurances as to its future," Terri Butler said.
"The three of us, as local representatives, have worked hard to make sure the site has a masterplan," Di Farmer said.
"The Commonwealth must now make sure that any prospective purchaser is crystal clear, before the sale, about the need to honour and comply with the Masterplan," Kara Cook said.
"We remain concerned about contamination at the site," Terri Butler said.
"In August, the Commonwealth advised that the updated environmental study had found contaminants near stormwater drains," Di Farmer said.
"I wrote to the Minister about the contaminants at the time, to request that immediate action be taken, and have not had a response," Terri Butler said.
"A report quietly published on Defence's website this month shows that the contamination, in stormwater drains with a potential to leach into the river, includes 'petroleum hydrocarbons (TRH >C10-C36) and metals (arsenic, cadmium, copper, nickel, lead and zinc) exceeding adopted ecological screening values', which is very concerning," she said.
The same report lists 'priorities' for mediation as follows:

  • "Lead ‘hot spot’ detected in fill material at BTP12_0.5 at the Parade Grounds – potential future risk to residents with access to soil or gardens;
  • Lead ‘hot spot’ detected in shallow soil at BSB12A_0.1 adjacent the stop butt at the Rifle Range – potential future risk to ecological receptors (via both groundwater and/or stormwater) given the leachability of lead;
  • Sediments accumulated in drains – impacted sediments may be readily mobilised and discharged directly into Brisbane River during significant rainfall events (current and future risk to the environment); and
  • Coliforms and nutrients detected in soil and groundwater adjacent the septic tank near Building B013, on the bank of Brisbane River – potential that pathway is currently complete for Brisbane River environment and recreational users."

"It is unacceptable that this contamination has remained unremedied by the Commonwealth given they have been undertaking environmental investigations at the site since 2015," Terri Butler said.
"The government should rectify these problems - especially those posing a current risk - immediately, not leave it to a future purchaser," Di Farmer said.
"Any contamination remaining after the sale must be fixed immediately, and any prospective purchasers should be aware that the community will remain highly interested in what happens with the site," Kara Cook said.