Published by: The Border Watch
By: Elsie Adamo
AMPOL Millicent Pines service station may be closed, demolished, and sold if a development application goes to plan, despite other sites in the region waiting far longer.
The application, lodged on January 20, is requesting the decommissioning and demolition of all buildings on 218 and 220 Mount Gambier Road, Millicent, which includes the petrol station.
The company confirmed the plans this week.
"Subject to approval of the development application, the Ampol site at 220 Mount Gambier Road, Millicent, will undergo demolition and remediation works to prepare the land for sale," a company spokesperson said.
The site is listed on the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) contamination index, for storage of listed substances.
"Pending approval of the development application, the demolition will include the removal of all infrastructure, and the remediation works will address the contaminated soil," the Ampol spokesperson said.
"It is expected that the works will be completed in the next 12 months."
Meanwhile, other sites in the region have been sitting closed and dormant for months.
An Ampol spokesperson confirmed that sites at Church Street in Penola and Commercial Street West and East in Mount Gambier would begin demolition and remediation works in the next 12 months but did not clarify how works were being prioritised.
Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell said he is hopeful a different arrangement could be made to fix the "eye sore" the empty lots cause in Mount Gambier.
"These are prime locations in our town, and people's first impressions are of an overgrown disused site," Mr Bell said.
"There are weeds, they are fenced up, it is really a poor representation of our community.
"I am trying to work through what can be done in terms of working with Ampol or Caltex regarding these sites...one thought I had was a partnership with the Mount Gambier City Council.
"If the sites were opened up so they could be used for parking, or as electric car charging stations, Council's contribution would be to help maintain the site until they are decommissioned."
Ampol is not under any obligation to make use of the sites.
"I guess their motivation is different to ours," he said.
"Ours is to ensure that our main street is a vibrant active place, and the owners of those sites, their motivation could be to develop it, or get the best price they can for it, but there may not be a concern around timelines."
Mr Bell confirmed he is yet to have direct discussions with Ampol on the matter.