Elizabeth Quay Project, Perth, WA
Since 2007, RPS has been engaged as the Western Australian government’s environmental consultant for Elizabeth Quay – a 10 ha, $440 million waterfront precinct revitalisation project on the Swan River shoreline in Perth City.
The site incorporates both terrestrial (land) and riverine (aquatic) environments, and required specialist management of contaminated soils and sediments, acid sulfate soils, dredging and discharges to the river.
RPS worked across all phases of project delivery, including initial design and feasibility, detailed Structure Plan design and all site environmental investigations.
Our team was charged with designing and conducting all environmental investigations, negotiating a referrals strategy with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and relevant stakeholders, and developing referral documentation under Section 38 of the Environmental Protection Act (1986).
Environmental investigation leads to construction acceleration
RPS worked strategically to ensure on-time delivery of all environmental investigations which fed into the 17 Management Plans required under the Environmental Protection Act submission. Following a formal briefing with the EPA Board, the project was “not assessed” ensuring forward construction works could commence 12 months earlier than otherwise would have occurred.
Water modelled, water managed
During the construction phase, RPS was responsible for onsite monitoring and environmental compliance reporting for the Forward Works program, while providing ongoing technical support to the broader project team.
The potential impact of groundwater leaching contaminants and nutrients to the nearby inlet was assessed via a testing program, hydrogeological and hydrodynamic modelling. Working with the project engineers, RPS developed best-practice urban water drainage solutions that were acceptable to both the regulatory agencies and City of Perth.
Safe soil and sediment solutions
RPS conducted a full series of onshore and offshore (dredging) contamination and acid sulfate soil investigations to determine the best method of treatment and disposal for contaminated sediments. Our team worked with the client to ensure soils were classified and managed sustainably, thus reducing fill requirements through soils remaining in-situ, and providing a valuable source of fill for reuse offsite.
Protecting what lies beneath
Other studies provided by RPS assessed the benthic habitat (the unique eco-system that exists in the lower levels of lakes, rivers or oceans) at the Elizabeth Quay site and in adjacent water systems, including the ecosystem type and variety of fauna.
Potential impacts on the aquatic environment from construction (including dredging and piling), were then assessed as part of the environmental referrals process. Specific consideration was given to management measures for bottlenose dolphins and other marine fauna in the Swan River, including underwater noise and vibration effects.
The successful completion of the project was marked by the precinct opening in late-January 2016. RPS remains contracted to the project team, and will be undertaking post-construction environmental monitoring over coming years.