Cusack urges asbestos probe

BARYUGIL residents and workers, who may be at risk after traces of asbestos were found at the Ewingar quarry, have NSW Opposition spokesman for Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability, Catherine Cusack, looking for answers.

Ms Cusack plans to write to the Ombudsman in the hope of getting a case study prepared.

She has experience on this issue – the Wallaga Lake case – where asbestos was illegally dumped, leaving more 200 Aboriginal residents exposed to the fibres.

“There is supposed to be a system put into place here but nobody seems to deal with it proactively, they just turn a blind eye to it,” she said.

“The NSW Ombudsman have assured me they are doing a full inquiry into the systems for managing asbestos because there seems to be a complete failure to risk manage and protect people’s health,” she said.

“As a result, people like the Clarence Valley Council workers have been unwittingly exposed, and that is a disgrace.”

Council has implemented a program of works to be undertaken immediately to minimise the risk of harm to the people working and travelling near the asbestos-containing materials, and further testing is under way.

“The Labor Government in NSW has made such a fuss of the James Hardy case that people were lulled into a false sense of security that the Government was dealing with these asbestos issues,” Ms Cusack said. “In reality they have done nothing.”



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