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Sunday Herald Sun

Dozens of families hoping to build their dream homes at a Diamond Creek estate fear their land is poisoned with arsenic.

Landowners at the Collard Rise estate are being told by Nillumbik Council to conduct their own soil tests — which could cost up to $5000 — before building permits will be issued.

The housing development in Melbourne’s outer northeast is near the abandoned Nillumbik Gold Mine, which started in the 1860s and continued sporadically until about 1950.

Soil remediation has been conducted in some parts of the estate but it is believed the mine site was much bigger than first thought, triggering residents’ angst.

Gordon Legal associate Fiona Rothville said hundreds of people, including many young children, could be affected and the council had left families in the dark.

“There could be significant consequences if contamination is found at their property or properties surrounding them,’’ Ms Rothville said.

“At this stage no testing has been done which should have been done many years ago.’’

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