ASBESTOS FINDS: A site map of the unexpected find locations and asbestos exclusion areas.
ASBESTOS FINDS: A site map of the unexpected find locations and asbestos exclusion areas. Clarence Valley Council

More asbestos found on beach

A REMEDIAL Action Plan is being developed to manage the unexpected discovery of fragments of asbestos-containing materials on the Minnie Water foreshore.

Clarence Valley Council works and civil director Troy Anderson said that since the council was notified of the fragments a certified and qualified staff member had been doing weekly "emu picks" of exposed asbestos-containing materials. It is believed the fragments of fibrous cement sheeting (fibro) were from dwellings that were previously located on the beach reserve.

Mr Anderson said the initial advice from an independent consultant was that any risk could be managed by continuing to undertake weekly inspections and removing any material found.

"This has been occurring and will continue to occur. Smaller amounts are being found at each inspection," he said.

"We have engaged consultants to do further assessment and once their report is received we will advise the community of further treatment options."

Mr Anderson also countered claims in media reports last week the council was unresponsive when notified of the possibility of asbestos-containing materials on site.

"That is not the case," he said. "We treat asbestos contamination seriously and urgently.

"We got a phone call from a resident suggesting asbestos might have been exposed, but it wasn't clear from that call where she was referring to. Relevant staff tried to call her back to get further details but there was no response.

"As soon as we got further details we sent a qualified asbestos assessor to have a look. He found three sites where he believed there were former building products containing ACMs (asbestos-containing materials). We then engaged an independent assessor and fenced off areas where ACMs were found.

"Closer inspection found traces at a fourth site and barrier fencing has been installed around it as well.

"There has been and will be no mowing or maintenance of the site until remediation is complete or we have ACM clearance for the site.

"Public safety is the number one priority and council is evaluating the most suitable remediation options."

Mr Anderson said the EPA had been notified of the find.



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