NORTH Lake Macquarie property owners have blasted the NSW government's spending on contaminated land around Boolaroo, describing it as "a pittance" that will allow them access to $130 each on average over four years.
The cost of remediating a residential block of land polluted by fallout from the stacks of the former Pasminco lead and zinc smelter that closed in 2003 is estimated to be up to $100,000.
Speaking at a community meeting on Monday night, Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper agreed the grant funding was not enough.
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Boolaroo Action Group spokesman Jim Sullivan said it was shameful how little had been allocated to help residents, when the polluter was regulated and licenced by the NSW government.
In 2018, the government provided $800,000 for a community grant program and its administration to support residents affected by lead pollution.
Councillor Jason Pauling failed in an attempt to get the $800,000 made available to residents. Instead, half was allocated to council, leaving 3000 land owners access to $400,000 over four years.
Cr Pauling said residents had received a "rough deal all the way through", including from the grant process.
"The whole thing has lacked a sense of natural justice and I understand there is no easy solution," he said. "The money that has flowed to the community is basically useless."
A council spokeswoman said its $400,000 was being spent on employing an officer to undertake duties "outside the normal remit for council", developing a standard remedial action plan to "streamline" development assessments, that residents are fighting against, and engagement with residents and other stakeholders.
Grant applications will be assessed by a four-person panel, including a community representative and are expected to open in the coming months.
Residents want access to a future fund to help with the cost of remediating their land.
Mr Piper agreed to take their concerns to the NSW Environment Minister Matthew Keane and invite him to visit the area.