The Lead Mitigation Grant Program provides funding to eligible households that have been impacted by lead contamination from the former Pasminco Cockle Creek Smelter.
The Pasminco site operated for more than a century in Boolaroo. During this time, airborne pollution resulted in soil contamination in surrounding areas, including lead and other heavy metals.
Remediation work has occurred since the smelter closed in 2003, but some soil in the area remains contaminated or potentially contaminated.
Led by the NSW Environment Protection Agency, the Lead Mitigation Grant Program can help with the cost of lead remediation and mitigation activities.
Applications are now open
Applications are now open for eligible residents, including tenants, for three streams of funding to assist with lead mitigation. The links to the application forms can be found at the bottom of this page.
Take a moment to familiarise yourself with the grant guidelines to ensure you are eligible. The guidelines provide clear information about what activities are eligible for funding.
Lead mitigation grant guidelines(PDF, 3MB) (round now open until 10 November 2023)
Acute health risk grant guidelines(PDF, 2MB)
Lead mitigation raised garden beds grants program(PDF, 337KB)
Need a hand with your application or have a question about the grant program? Contact Council’s Sustainability Engagement Officer by email [email protected] or phone 4921 0333.
What is the Lead Mitigation Grant Program?
The Lead Mitigation Grant Program is funded by the NSW EPA and delivered by Lake Macquarie City Council.
It aims to assist eligible Lake Macquarie landowners and tenants who have been impacted by lead contamination from the former Pasminco Cockle Creek Smelter.
There are various remediation and mitigation activities that are eligible for funding.
Who is eligible to apply for funding?
Any residential landowner or tenant living within the Lead Abatement Strategy (LAS) area is eligible for funding.
This includes parts of Boolaroo, Argenton, Speers Point, Macquarie Hills and Edgeworth, highlighted purple in map below.
Depending on the contamination status of your property in the LAS area, you may be eligible for:
- Soil testing via X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) - a quick test carried out by qualified Council staff to estimate lead levels in the soil
- Assistance with lead in soil testing carried out by a suitably qualified consultant to confirm contamination status
- Assistance with the costs of a Remedial Action Plan (RAP) prepared by a suitably qualified consultant
- Assistance with the costs of a Validation Report prepared by a suitably qualified consultant
- Assistance with costs of tipping fees associated with disposal of contaminated soil
- Assistance with maintaining capped soil
- Assistance with setting up or maintaining raised garden beds
In situations where an acute health risk is identified, applicants may also be eligible for:
- Assistance with temporary housing or relocation costs while a property undergoes remediation
- Assistance with costs for remediation of land
For more information, including the funding amounts available, please refer to the Lead Mitigation Grant Guidelines above.
Lead mitigation grant decision tool
What can I get with the funding?
Funding for raised garden beds, XRF soil testing and support for people with acute health risks are now available year-round.
Funding for other lead remediation and mitigation activities, such as consultant reports, will be available during grant rounds September and November.
Grant rounds are open for four to six weeks. You can still apply for grants to assist with costs of an activity you have already carried out. Please contact Council’s Sustainability Engagement Officer to check your eligibility and discuss in further detail.
How can I apply for funding?
You can apply for funding by completing the online application at the bottom of this page.
If you are unable to complete the online form, contact Council’s Sustainability Engagement Officer on 4921 0333 or by email at [email protected]
Applicants are notified of the outcome of their application following the closure of each round.
How do I find out the contamination status of my property?
To find out your land’s contamination status and notation enter your address into Council’s Property Enquiry tool.
Your contamination notation number will be included under ‘minor conditions’ section in the property report.
There are six possible contamination notations for land in Lake Macquarie:
- Contaminated land: Property that is known to be contaminated
- Potentially contaminated land: Property that is suspected to be contaminated because of past use or proximity to pollution sources
- Remediated land with contamination above the investigation threshold: Property has undergone some remediation works, but contamination remains on site above investigation levels
- Remediated land with contamination below the investigation threshold: Property has undergone remediation and soil testing has shown that contamination levels are now below investigation levels.
- Below contaminated land investigation threshold: Property has undergone soil testing and found to be below investigation levels.
- No clear site history: Council records do not contain a clear site history of the land or there is inadequate knowledge of uses that may have led to contamination or potential contamination.
How should I manage soil on my property?
Bare soil, dirt and dust are the biggest sources of lead exposure from contaminated soil.
If you’re growing fruit or vegetables, it is recommended that you do so in raised garden beds filled with clean soil.
If your property has notation 1, 2 or 3, this legacy lead contamination can be managed by maintaining an effective barrier over the contaminated soil eg: hardstand paving or turf. In order to maintain adequate grass coverage, you may be eligible for an exemption to water restrictions
More information on how to manage exposure to lead at residential properties is available from Hunter New England Health and the NSW Environmental Protection Authority
How do I apply for grants for works undertaken before July 2022?
Grants are available for activities undertaken or planned to be undertaken between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2026.
For activities carried out between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2022 grant activities and amounts stated in the 2019-2022 grant guidelines(PDF, 736KB) will be applied.
Click the 2018-2022 grants tab below to apply for this type of grant.
Drop in sessions
Council will hold free drop-in sessions at the below dates and times for community members to ask questions about the program and their eligibility for support.
- Thursday 19 October 1pm – 3pm Lake Macquarie City Council Admin Building Reception area (126-138 Main Road, Speers Point)
- Tuesday 24 October 10am – 12 noon Lake Macquarie City Council Admin Building Reception area (126-138 Main Road, Speers Point)
Need help with your application?
Contact Council's Sustainability Engagement Officer on 02 4921 0333 or email [email protected] to discuss.