Townsville SOE home page

Potential Contaminated Sites in Townsville

Click to enlarge - Map of Potential contaminated land
Click map to zoom into urban area
Image data source EPA, mapped by TCC

This map is indicative of the location of the potential land contamination in Townsville LGA and is not suitable for cadastral purposes.

Most of the sites are listed on the Environmental Management Register (EMR) which means that they pose a low risk to public health. Only a few are listed as contaminated land under the Contaminated Land Act.

The maps are shown here to demonstrate that site contamination is typically an urban, rather than a rural, issue.

If you have any specific concern about sites or substances, you can call the EPA Contaminated Land Unit on (07) 3225 1827.


Contaminated Land Management
Queensland and Townsville
Information provided by EPA

Townsville Contaminated land is largely a historical problem, often resulting from industrial and mining activity and the manufacture, use or disposal of chemicals.

Public concern over the public health risks associated with redevelopment of land formerly used for waste disposal, industrial or commercial purposes has increased.

Before 1991 residential areas had been developed on former mining and hazardous waste disposal areas, cattle dip sites and former military sites affected by unexploded ordnance (UXO).

In other instances, sensitive land uses such as preschools were approved on former tannery sites and in areas used for the disposal of tailings from mineral processing.

The Contaminated Land Act 1991 (CLA) was introduced to identify, manage and remediate contaminated land to help ensure that such situations did not recur and that the environment and public health are protected.

In November 1997 the Queensland Government integrated the provisions of the CLA with the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act). The EP Act is the central piece of environmental management legislation in Queensland.

The EP Act provides a framework to identify contaminated land and land which has the potential to be contaminated because of past or present land use.

This information is available through public access registers maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency - the Environmental Management Register (EMR) and Contaminated Land Register (CLR).

The EMR records land that is considered to pose a low risk to human health and the environment under its current use. Land within Queensland that has been or is being used for Notifiable Activities must be listed on the EMR.

Notifiable Activities, as listed in Schedule 2 of the EP Act, are activities that have the potential to contaminate land, including landfills, livestock dips, petroleum product or oil storage, chemical storage, and abrasive blasting facilities.

Land may also be listed on the EMR if it is shown to be affected by hazardous contaminants.

If sufficient contaminated land investigation and/or remediation works are undertaken to demonstrate that a parcel of land is suitable for any use, an application may be made to the EPA to remove the land from the EMR.

The EMR is continually being updated, as new sites are notified and existing sites are investigated and/or remediated.

Currently 447 land parcels within the Townsville local government area are listed on the EMR. Of these, 19 are subject to Site Management Plans (SMPs) approved by the EPA.

SMPs may be developed following investigation of land to ensure that any contamination remaining on site is managed appropriately for a specified land use.

The CLR is a register of proven contaminated land that is causing, or has the potential to cause, serious environmental harm.

Land is recorded on the CLR when a scientific investigation shows that the land is contaminated and action needs to be taken to remediate or manage it to prevent serious environmental harm or adverse public health risks.

Action may include technical measures to prevent migration, or full removal and off-site treatment of contamination.

There are currently no sites within Townsville local government area listed on the CLR.

Further information may be obtained by contacting the EPA Contaminated Land Unit on (07) 3225 1827 or by visiting the Agency's website at