NOT CONSIDERING ALTERNATIVE: Maryvale residents are a step further towards development if tests return desired results.
NOT CONSIDERING ALTERNATIVE: Maryvale residents are a step further towards development if tests return desired results. Marian Faa

Soil testing begins at Maryvale reserve after years in works

TESTING has begun on Maryvale's railway reserve and as questions about possible soil contamination move closer to being answered, residents refute the likelihood of a positive arsenic reading.

The five hectares of land, which sits opposite the Maryvale Crown Hotel, is prime space for town development but allegations the land had been used for cattle dipping in the 60s landed the spot on the Environmental Management Register list, where it has stayed for six years.

But testing, as part of a council-funded project to examine whether that is in fact the case, began on Monday.

In the past, the listing has been a point of contention for residents who doubt the validity of the claim.

Maryvale Progress Association vice-president Dennis Wood said soil results would only confirm no such act occurred.

"They're not going to find any traces I believe, I am not even considering the alternative,” he said.

"There's long-term residents and families who will all attest there was never any cattle dipping on that land.”

Conducted by council contractors, the ground tests are due to be completed by the end of the week, but a final result could take much longer than that.

In order for the area to be re-mediated and taken off the list, soil samples still had to be tested and the result to be compiled in a final report for the Department of Environment and Science.

But for residents, who have been itching to start urban development since 2013, it was at least a move in the right direction.

"I think it's a huge step forward for Maryvale and I thank the town and council for its assistance and willingness to help us with this,” Mr Wood said.

"There's a desire to clean it up and make it usable to benefit the whole community.”



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