DES monitors Petrie pond wall

Issued: 2 Mar 2022

The Department of Environment (DES) is monitoring a pond wall holding contaminated water and sludge on the banks of the North Pine River.

The pond is on the former Petrie Paper Mill site, currently being decommissioned by the former mill owner, Orora Limited.

Orora reported to DES on 28 February a potential failure of a pond wall, which was showing cracks and deformation.

Orora advised it had the wall assessed by engineers who recommended an urgent dewatering of the pond to increase safety.

DES is comfortable with Orora’s approach from an environmental perspective and advised the company to begin dewatering as soon as possible.

Dewatering commenced at 5:30am yesterday and is continuing.

While the rapid dewatering is planned to have the risks substantially reduced within 48 hours, DES has briefed Queensland Police Service to consider any community safety precautions.

DES will remain in contact with Orora, and other key agencies, and will maintain a “watching brief” on the situation.