Technical Tour

The technical tour on Thursday, 12 September 2019 will provide the delegates an unforgettable experience to see the real world contaminated problems and their innovative solutions.

9:30 am
10:45 am
11:45 am
1:15 pm
2:30 pm

Tonsley Innovation District
South Australia Drill Core Reference Library
Presentation on Clovelly Park-Mitchell Park (contaminated site)
Demonstration of Clovelly Park-Mitchell Park (contaminated site)
Redevelopment of 3 Ha MSW Landfill into Inner Urban Sports and Community Facility

    Tonsley Innovation District

    For almost five decades, Tonsley was a cornerstone of South Australia’s manufacturing industry, the home of Chrysler Australia and later Mitsubishi Motors.

    Before Mitsubishi Motors sold the site to Renewal SA, Parson’s Brinckerhoff undertook comprehensive environmental investigations across the whole 61 hectares to determine its suitability for ongoing commercial and industrial use. As with any large manufacturing site some elevated concentrations of chemicals were reported, however the majority of the site was found to be suitable for ongoing commercial and industrial use in its current building configuration. Renewal SA, as part of their due diligence, undertook to ensure that all allotments subsequently sold were suitable for their proposed end use through further environmental investigations, either with environmental consultants reports or through site contamination audits.


    The primary contaminants of concern across the site have been identified as trichloroethylene and petroleum hydrocarbons predominantly in groundwater as these have the potential to present a vapour intrusion risk to new buildings. Extensive soil, groundwater and soil vapour sampling, as well as conceptual site modelling and risk assessments have been undertaken to ensure all allotments are suitable for their proposed use. Source removal has been undertaken where possible.

    Currently over 150 environmental reports have been produced for the site, including three completed audits and three in progress.

    Today, Tonsley Innovation District unites individuals, businesses and researchers looking to collaborate, test, build and grow in a flexible and supportive environment. With a specific focus on high-value manufacturing, Tonsley’s masterplan incorporates collaborative meeting and working spaces providing world-class facilities to help take new ideas from concept to market.

    The redevelopment of Tonsley is providing the opportunity for the manufacturing industry in South Australia to adapt and better utilise its strengths, transitioning from traditional to high-value manufacturing. Tonsley’s four focus sectors of health, medical devices and assistive technologies, cleantech and renewable energy, automation, software and simulation, and mining and energy services reflect South Australia’s economic strengths and opportunities.

    Committed to adaptive reuse
    Tonsley has been recognised as a world-leader in sustainability, being Australia’s first urban renewal development to receive the internationally recognised 6 Star Green Star – Communities certification.

    A significant sustainability feature of Tonsley is the adaptive reuse of the former automotive manufacturing Main Assembly Building (the MAB). Retaining and redeveloping the MAB prevented the loss of approximately 90,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. This is the equivalent of removing 25,000 cars from the road for a year.

    While being refurbished, the MAB was structurally reinforced to allow as many as 20,000 solar panels to be installed of its roof. Part of Tonsley’s District Energy Scheme, this solar installation will be one of Australia’s largest rooftop solar arrays.

    The adaptive reuse of the Western Plant and Boiler House facilities continues Tonsley’s commitment to adaptive reuse.

    South Australia Drill Core Reference Library

    The South Australian Drill Core Reference Library hosts geological samples recovered from over 130 years of exploration for minerals and energy resources otherwise hidden beneath the land surface of South Australia. These irreplaceable samples represent valuable direct records of the geological materials retrieved from the depths of the crust, that will continue to be investigated and analysed by new generations of geologists in industry, research, education and government.

    The catalogued samples of drill cores are each equivalent to the ‘pages’ in books associated with more traditional libraries. Reading these ‘pages’ can provide essential clues about the geological history of South Australia as well as indicators for new mineral and energy resource discoveries that will support the future prosperity of South Australia.

    This facility and its collection is constantly evolving as it continues to receive new drill core samples from ongoing exploration programs as well as generating data from state-of-the-art ‘real time’, on site sample analysis capabilities. Drill core can be viewed in a spacious core viewing hall as well as integrated with South Australia’s renowned geoscience data sets within an immersive 3D theatre. Other world-class sample reference collections, and conference, meeting and education facilities make this an innovative and exciting setting towards the discovery of the next mineral and energy resource in South Australia.

    Clovelly Park-Mitchell Park (contaminated site)

    In May 2015 the EPA approved a voluntary site contamination assessment proposal (VSCAP) provided by Renewal SA, as owners of the former Mitsubishi Motors site in Clovelly Park (now called ‘Tonsley’).

    As part of this proposal, Renewal SA has engaged specialist environmental consultants to assess the nature and extent of groundwater contamination onsite and offsite to the west and north/west in the residential areas of Mitchell Park and Marion.

    Renewal SA has also engaged two site contamination auditors to oversee the environmental assessment. One auditor was engaged for the proposed residential area on the site, known as the Tonsley Village.  In January 2018, the EPA accepted the completed site contamination audit report prepared by the auditor for the residential area.

    Tonsley Residential Village – It is the opinion of the auditor that the site is suitable for the proposed residential development provided that numerous audit conditions are implemented. The audit conditions include requirements in relation to the development and environmental monitoring. Including the ongoing monitoring of soil vapour and groundwater to be undertaken by Renewal SA, in accordance with a monitoring plan endorsed by the auditor.  The ongoing monitoring is to ensure that soil vapour and groundwater concentrations do not increase to unacceptable levels in the future.


    The groundwater contamination has originated from at least three industrial properties in the Clovelly Park area. Past industrial use and disposal practices associated with the properties has caused the contamination. These practices are now understood to have contaminated the soils at the industrial properties and subsequently have leached (moved) down to the groundwater.

    Over time, the contamination in the groundwater has moved naturally, further polluting the groundwater beneath the industrial properties and neighbouring residential properties.

    In May 2015 the EPA approved a Voluntary Site Contamination Assessment Proposal provided by Renewal SA, as owners of the former Mitsubishi Motors site in Clovelly Park.

    As part of this agreement, Renewal SA has engaged specialist environmental consultants to assess the nature and extent of groundwater contamination onsite and to the west and north of the site in the residential areas. In June 2016, nine new groundwater wells were installed north of Alawoona Avenue, Mitchell Park.

    Renewal SA has also engaged two site contamination auditors to oversee this work – one for the proposed residential area on site and the other for the assessment of the former industrial site and the impacts extending offsite. As South Australia’s environmental regulator, the EPA is overseeing Renewal SA’s completion of the agreed Voluntary Site Contamination Assessment Proposal, as part of the redevelopment of the former Mitsubishi site (now called the ‘Tonsley’ site).

    Redevelopment of 3 Ha MSW Landfill into Inner Urban Sports and Community Facility

    As urban infill development has gained popularity, former landfill sites come under pressure for conversion to higher value land use. The City of Holdfast Bay has redeveloped a former municipal landfill located in the inner coastal southern suburb of Seacliff into a major community and sporting hub and recreational asset.

    Following some quarrying activity, this former gully was filled between 1963 -1974 with 13m of municipal waste (domestic waste, hard waste and car bodies). Residences were present along two boundaries within 15m of the landfill during this time and townhouses developed along a third in the early 1990’s after the site was closed, capped with soil and converted to a public reserve and Council depot. A synthetic hockey pitch was also developed on a portion of the site and has required remedial works to restore the surface after settlement.

    The site was subject to a notification in 2010 following LFG detection during investigations on a neighbouring site. A voluntary site contamination audit was commenced with agreement of SA EPA to assess and manage the site risks. 

    Concurrently, Council undertook master planning and obtained funding for site redevelopment which has seen the entire landfill footprint redeveloped into twelve tennis courts, a three storey sports/community building, an upgrade of the existing hockey pitch into a hybrid wet/dry pitch, new car parks and a playground between 2015 and 2019.

    The high standard $13M development solution required:

    • geotechnical, LFG and soil vapor, and soil quality investigations;
    • extensive piling for courts and building;
    • reuse of existing soil cover & on-site waste relocation to balance cut/fill;
    • LFG infrastructure to manage migration risks;
    • final cover system to manage infiltration into the unlined MSW;
    • project risk management.

    Tonkin provided Council with environmental advice and design, procurement support and project management and principal environmental monitoring services during the construction phase. Tonkin is currently preparing the final documentation for the Auditor to complete the Site Contamination Audit (planned for FYE2020).

    Tonkin will host this tour on behalf of the City of Holdfast Bay and showcase the remediation of a legacy landfill site into a property asset that provides higher value, competition standard sporting fields in the custodianship of a local council in southern metropolitan Adelaide. The tour will share information and experiences obtained from both the preparation and the construction phase. It will cover the investigations and risk assessment, environmental protection measures design, construction works, challenges encountered and lessons learnt with a focus on ground improvement, on-site waste management and LFG control works. Photo material will be used to show site conditions prior and during construction.