Phillip Island,

Revegetation Works Continue At Transfer Station Site

Revegetation works on the former Rhyll Transfer Station site can move into the next stage following the closure of the station on Sunday, 30 June.

Bass Coast Shire Council and Phillip Island Nature Parks are working together to transform the site in order to strengthen and support the protection of the Rhyll Inlet saltmarsh.

Council’s Infrastructure Director, Felicity Sist, said the site is being restored in three stages.

“Step 1 was the capping of the landfill site and a design provided by a landfill designer. The design was verified and approved by an EPA approved auditor,” Ms Sist said.

“Step 2 involved revegetation of the site using indigenous species that are suited to the site. These species chosen were planted to promote diversity, but are limited to plants that will not penetrate and damage the capping over the old landfill.”

Ms Sist said the Nature Parks may also undertake additional processes to encourage the return of wildlife to the site, including the installation of nesting boxes nearby.

“Step 3 is site monitoring, which will continue for a period of 30 years after closure of the old landfill through regular monitoring of landfill gas, ground water and surface water conditions,” Ms Sist said.

“These activities will be undertaken to ensure that no issues arise as a result of contamination and are overseen by an EPA approved auditor.”

Ms Sist said the monitoring period will also include engineers’ assessments and botanical reports, which will be used to establish if there are any issues arising from the cap, and the status of revegetation works.

The Nature Parks has been contracted by the Council to provide plants and is providing advice regarding revegetation to assist Council in meeting the timelines and objectives of their Post-closure Plan.

Phillip Island Nature Parks’ Environment Manager, Dr Rosalind Jessop, said the area has significant conservation values and is part of the Rhyll Inlet Key Area as described in the Nature Parks’ Environment Plan 2012-2107.

“The area supports species listed as of conservation concern by federal and state bodies. It is a breeding and feeding site for the Cape Barren Goose and Little Raven,” Dr Jessop said.

“It is also significant because it abuts one of the secondary foraging areas for waders [birds] in Western Port which is an internationally significant Ramsar wetland.”

Dr Jessop said to date, over 63,000 plants had been planted at the site as part of the habitat restoration works which commenced in 2009.

“At the time of closure, there is approximately one hectare left to revegetate,” Dr Jessop said.

“This remaining area will be planted out at one plant per square metre. This leaves at least 10,000 plants remaining to complete the initial revegetation works.”