Asbestos threat prompts action

ASBESTOS-contaminated gravel found in roads in the Ewingar area has prompted swift action by Clarence Valley Council.

Last October council and other Valley organisations learned gravel from Taylors Quarry, which is owned and operated by council, was contaminated with asbestos.

It was found the contaminated material had been used on council roads primarily for gravel resheeting works and potentially posed a risk to the immediate community.

In a report tabled at last week’s committee meeting councillors were informed testing of the site revealed serpentine in the gravel.

Consequently, a significant amount of road had been sealed where council had used the gravel in the prior 12 months when the serpentine concentration was believed to have been at its highest.

A number of recommendations have been put forward for councillors’ consideration at today’s council meeting, including further testing in areas visually assessed as potentially containing asbestos-contaminated gravel including unsealed roads; formal training for council staff in identifying contaminated materials, and; sealing or removing potentially harmful areas.

Mayor Richie Williamson said the report before councillors highlighted what has already been done to rectify the situation and future plans.

“The council tomorrow will be considering the report and the 14 recommended actions and we will continue to work with authorities to move forward to determine what has to be done in the future,” he said.

The report reads that while many of the recommendations were well advanced in protecting the community and workers exposed to the asbestos, others were awaiting approval from the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water.

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