The NSW Government yesterday tabled legislation that, if passed by Parliament, will allow for the acquisition of land formerly occupied by the Cockle Creek lead and zinc smelter at Boolaroo near Lake Macquarie.

Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said the Government is taking action to guarantee the appropriate long-term environmental management of the site, while at the same time unlocking economic and community benefits for the region.

“Through this legislation, the NSW Government is stepping in to break a stalemate and deliver significant benefits to the Lake Macquarie community,” Mrs Pavey said.

“For too long there has been an impasse between the administrators and the NSW Government, leaving the long term environmental needs of the site unresolved.”

The site will be vested in the Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation (HCCDC), which will manage the land and its future development as a commercial, industrial and housing centre in the region.

“HCCDC is well positioned to take on the role for Government and will work closely with stakeholders to maximise use of the site, and ensure positive environmental outcomes on an ongoing basis,” Mrs Pavey said.

“Locals want to see this area reach its full potential and we are taking significant steps with this legislation to realise this for the community.”

Lake Macquarie City Council estimates that an additional 1650 direct jobs could be created from the site, in addition to more than 1000 construction-related jobs. Approximately 650 homes are expected to be built on the site.

Proceeds received from the sale of land would be paid into a special fund established by the legislation that will cover the cost of the site’s long-term environmental management and monitoring.

Government’s Waste Assets Management Corporation, with regulatory oversight from the NSW Environment Protection Authority, will assume responsibility for environmental management of the site.