COCKBURN CEMENT has confirmed plans to carve up and sell off up to 35 hectares of its Munster site for light industry.
The company is in the process of reducing site operations and demolishing three clinker kiln stacks, which have not been in use since 2014.
A CCL spokesperson said cement manufacturing has merged with its Kwinana site as part of the Kwinana Upgrade Project.
This consolidation means up to 35 hectares of surplus land, which abuts residential housing, is currently zoned for heavy industry but “could be used for potential light and general industry”.
“The company is now seeking approval from DevelopmentWA to rezone its surplus landholdings alongside our north-western boundary at Munster from heavy industry to light and general industrial,” a CCL spokesperson told the Herald.
However, a DevelopmentWA map showed the entirety of the Munster site has been earmarked for “permanent industrial development” in the future.
It will ultimately form part of the Orion Industrial Park, which is already taking shape on CCL’s former limestone quarry on the other side of Russell Road from the main plant.
Several lots are already under offer. CCL is currently surrounded by a one-kilometre buffer which prevents any residential development due to the plant’s emissions.
Despite its reduced operations, two pre-heater towers will remain on the site and will continue to be used for lime manufacture.
Cockburn Pollution Stoppers spokesperson Greg Hocking is concerned about the health implications of allowing workers in light industry factories to be operating near the plant.
“For it to be happening while they’re still operating the lime factory, it is a major problem,” he said.
CCL still burns thousands of tonnes of coal at the site to heat its lime kilns.
This produces carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen dioxide, among others. Mr Hocking said he can’t see why any industrial areas should be allowed within the buffer zone.
“I do have a concern, and I think anybody who’s looking at buying land in this subdivision should be concerned about air pollution.”
CCL was in court last month facing 13 charges of emitting unreasonable emissions under the WA Environmental Protection Act which stem from a monitoring program by the state’s environment watchdog in 2019. The magistrate reserved her decision until December 1. CCL could be fined $125,000 per charge plus $25,000 per day of offending if found guilty.
by ALIYAH FEDEC