Emergency services called to SAM site due to concerning smells

By Ashlea Witoslawski

CFA and police were called to the new site of the Shepparton Art Museum at around 11.40am today because of a growing community concern about the smell of petrol in the area.

The Shepparton CFA Hazardous Material Response Unit attended the scene to test the soil with a Photo-ionisation Detector (PID test).

CFA senior station officer Rob Puise said although there was a slight smell of fuel lingering, the test confirmed the space was completely safe”.

Greater Shepparton City Council SAM project manager Thomas Lyle also attended the scene after receiving a notification to the police in regards to the incident.

Mr Lyle said the hydro carbon odour was caused by soil and sand found under a slab of concrete.

This concrete was only found recently by Goulburn Valley Water during rising sewer main works along Wyndham St.

It was determined that the concrete had been poured prior to 1980 to fill the space where petrol tanks had been located previously for an older petrol station.

Mr Lyle said the slab was unexpected, however testing measure have been put in place to ensure the soil can be removed without harm”.

Odour doesnt mean contamination, Mr Lyle said.

We have an environmental engineer visiting the site on Monday to test the material.

Mr Lyle also said the soil materials will be recycled after testing is complete and classification is discovered by the end of next week.

The concrete will also be recycled.

Demolition contractor Hopley Group were on site removing the materials on Friday.

Once the materials are disposed of, the hole will be backfilled and the Victoria Park Lake Master Plan will continue.