Environmental management

HCCDC is playing a key role in the delivery of environmental management initiatives that will unlock new and sustainable opportunities for our regions to thrive.

This includes leading significant rehabilitation works at former BHP steelworks sites around the Port of Newcastle. The work at Mayfield and Kooragang Island is recognised with a prestigious NSW Premiers Award for Protecting the Environment.

The works will mark the most important remediation project in Newcastle's history once complete.

Steelworks site remediation

Rehabilitation of the former BHP Steelworks lands is one of the most important remediation projects in Newcastle’s history.

Awarded for protecting the environment

Our team is recognised for the significant steelworks remediation works around the Port of Newcastle.

Rehabilitation of former steelwork sites

HCCDC has been working on behalf of the NSW Goverment since the early 2000s to remediate and rehabilitate two former BHP sites around the Port of Newcastle.

The sites include a 150 hectare former steelworks at Mayfield, and associated 62 hectare waste emplacement facility at Kooragang Island. HCCDC's remediation works will open the potential for re-use of the sites.

Our team developed the remediation methods key to the project, receiving a prestigious NSW Premier's Award in 2016 for protecting the environment. When complete, the project will mark the most significant remediation works in Newcastle's history.

Mayfield Steelworks

The $110 million remediation of BHP's steelworks site at Mayfield was formally completed in 2019, marking a major milestone in the city's transformation.

From 2006, our team has led complex works across the Property NSW owned site, to contain or remove contaminants while returning the land to a productive state. The works included:

  • an underground ‘barrier wall’ to reduce groundwater flow to the Hunter River
  • low permeability capping, reducing infiltration of rainwater
  • new major stormwater drains
  • demolition and land forming
  • a new freight rail line and major civil works

The BHP Steelworks at Mayfield was established in 1915 and was vital to the regional and national economies until it closed in 1999.

Memorials to all those who worked at the Steelworks remain on the Mayfield site. The first, called Muster Point, is a large steel art installation paying tribute to the steel working skills on the BHP workers.

Another memorial installation was unveiled at the centenary of the plant’s official opening on 2 June 1915, paying tribute to those who lost their lives at the steelworks. The sculpture is a moving ‘’mourning circle’’ produced by Branxton artist and blacksmith Will Maguire.

Kooragang Island Waste Emplacement Facility (KIWEF)

The KIWEF is BHP's former landfill site that received waste from the former Newcastle Steelworks. 

HCCDC is tasked with completing the closure of the site in accordance with NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) guidelines.

We have so far completed coordinating the closure of 30 hectares, around half of the site, and have advanced plans to complete the remaining 32 hectares. HCCDC also managed the successful extinguishment of a 12 hectare subterranean fire within the KIWEF site in collaboration with many State Departments and agencies.

The area is environmentally sensitive, containing habitat of the protected Green and Golden Bell Frog (Litoria aurea), several migratory bird species, and the nearby RAMSAR-listed Hunter Estuary Wetlands. All closure works have been designed sympathetically to the local environment, and provide migratory corridors for the Green and Golden Bell Frog habitats across Kooragang Island.

In 2016, our team received a NSW Premier’s Award for the remediation of the former BHP lands at Mayfield and Kooragang Island.

This award, in the 'Protecting the Environment' category is acknowledgement of one of the biggest and most important remediation projects in Newcastle’s history.

Project Approval Documents and Management Plans

Stockton Beach sand replenishment


HCCDC is playing a role in the sourcing of sand for the future nourishment of Stockton Beach, in partnership with City of Newcastle.

We have engaged coastal specialist Bluecoast Consulting to conduct assessments of suitability of sand located in the South Arm of the Hunter River for beach nourishment as an alternative to sand sourced from offshore or terrestrial areas.

Capital dredging in the South Arm has the potential to generate clean sand of marine origin, some of which may be suitable for the synergistic nourishment of Stockton Beach.

We have specific experience in relation to major projects in the South Arm and more generally in relation to beneficial reuse. Refer to the Port of Newcastle Port Master Plan 2040 for more information.

The project is funded by NSW Department, Planning and Environment under the Coasts and Estuaries Grants Program, as an element of City of Newcastle’s Coastal Management Program.

We recognise the valued contribution of data made available for the project by Port Waratah Coal Services. This information was provided at nil cost to the state, as a public service to the Stockton community. Without this information, the study would not have been possible.

Stockton Beach erosion

Mike Bardsely
HCCDC Environmental Manager
E. [email protected]
T. 02 4904 2773