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Site contamination exists in most urbanised areas in Australia, and Newcastle is no exception, particularly suburbs on or near former industrial land. Examples of common contaminants found at elevated levels in urban areas of Newcastle include Lead (Pb) and Hydrocarbons (such as PAH's and Benzo(a)pyrene).

General precautions for urban contamination

  • When growing vegetables on your property, either replace your garden soil with fresh clean soil from a landscape supplier or create a raised garden bed and fill it with clean soil
  • Avoid having areas of bare soil by maintaining grass cover or otherwise covering with an impervious surface
  • Reduce exposure to soil during gardening activities by minimising dust generation, wearing gloves and washing hands after handling soil
  • If children are playing in bare soil in your backyard, create a raised structure and fill it with clean sand or soil from a landscape supplier.
If you have a chicken coup in your backyard with a bare soil floor, replace the soil with clean sand or soil from a landscape supplier.

NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) resources

NSW Health

Information about the role of the NSW Ministry of Health and Public Health Units in relation to contaminated land is available on the NSW Health website:

​Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR):

  • Information about specific contaminants is available on the ATSDR website

Newcastle City Council resources

National Environment Protection Measures (NEPMs)

  • All detailed environmental investigations have been undertaken in accordance with the Australian National Environment Protection Measure Framework. See general information about contaminated site investigations (pdf).


The State has appointed Property NSW as the most appropriate agency to manage the remediation of the historic Waratah Gasworks site
Contact Property NSW

For more information about related matters, please see contact details below:

  • Specific health advice: Your doctor
  • General health information: Hunter New England Local Health District: 1300 066 055

Other contamination information: NSW EPA Environment Line:
13 15 55