A snapshot of what was discussed at meeting three of the Wyee West Paper Subdivision Development Plan Reference Group

The Wyee West Paper Subdivision Development Plan Reference Group met again on Thursday 15 February. They received a briefing from specialist Council staff involved in the regulation of on-site sewer management (OSSM) systems.

In summary, this presentation covered:

  • Council is responsible for assessing applications for on-site sewer management (OSSM) systems and the ongoing regulation of those systems.
  • Standards for OSSM systems have become much more stringent over time (due to greater understanding of potential health and environmental impact of OSSM systems).
  • OSSM systems require a large area of land (typically 4000m2) for effective treatment of household effluent.
  • Soils in Wyee are not well-suited to assimilation of wastewater, meaning larger areas are generally required in order to ensure no off-site impacts from OSSM systems.
  • While modern composting toilets are a space-efficient option, other wastewater streams (kitchen, bathroom and laundry) pose similar environmental and public health risks and still require treatment and disposal.
  • The more constrained the site (i.e. poor soils and small lot-size), the more expensive the OSSM system would likely be.
  • Pump-out systems are costly to install and require servicing fortnightly at a cost (currently) of $2480 per year.
  • For the reasons described above, individual OSSM systems are not a viable solution for servicing the Wyee paper subdivision, which consists of 184 residential-zoned lots with an average lot size of 800m2.

Following this briefing, Council advised it would soon be engaging an ecological consulting firm who will likely commence fieldwork within the paper subdivision in late March. We will also soon appoint geotechnical and archaeological consultants to undertake studies for the area.

These are the first of a number of studies being undertaken over the coming months that will feed into detailed engineering plans for roads and infrastructure. It is this work that will allow us to accurately estimate construction costs.

Our compliance staff are continuing to monitor the area for unauthorised development. It has been pleasing to say that the majority of landowners have complied with Council’s requests and ceased any developments on their properties.

Council reiterated its position that the welfare and safety of its residents is its number one priority.

We look forward to working with all landowners as well as the Reference Group to explore and progress options for the future of the paper subdivision.

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