Homebush Bay sediment management
As part of its functions, Roads and Maritime has ownership and management responsibility for the seabed of Sydney Harbour including the Parramatta River up to the weir at Parramatta. As such, this ownership extends into Homebush Bay, which has had a history of industrial activities. One of the activities undertaken in this area was the production of chlorinated pesticides, which resulted in the sediments in Homebush Bay being contaminated with industrials chemicals, including dioxins. In 2005/2006, prior to the remediation of the area, the then Waterways Authority conducted a sampling program to measure concentrations of dioxins in fish and prawns. The results of this initial phase 1 study identified dioxins that were above a level considered safe for human consumption. The details of this study are not detailed in this report.
During 2015 and 2016, Roads and Maritime worked with the Office of Environment and Heritage and the Department of Primary Industries to conduct a follow-up study (referred to as the Phase 2 study) using the same experimental design to determine if concentrations of dioxins in the same species had decreased following the remediation of Homebush Bay. The final report can be found by following the below link. Additionally, Roads and Maritime is under an EPA order to maintain the capping material installed as part of the Homebush Bay remediation activities completed in 2006. An investigation of the capping layer in April 2016 found it to be intact and ongoing integrity tests will be conducted annually.
View or download Dioxins in fish and prawns in Homebush Bay and Parramatta.