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Australia’s Asbestos Problem – What Was the Reaction in NSW?

Australia’s Asbestos Problem - What Was the Reaction in NSW?

We continue in our blog series on the asbestos contamination crisis currently ongoing in Australia. To find out more read our previous post here.

Following the initial discovery of bonded asbestos in mulch in 17 locations at a Rozelle park, the potentially harmful material was then found in different sites across the state of New South Wales, many schools and parks were forced to close and a major party celebrating Mardi Gras was cancelled.

It was announced that the reopening of the park which began this scare has now been pushed back by a month with Transport for New South Wales declaring that they had been handed an extension for the removal and replacement of the mulch and they now have until the end of March but they are planning on reopening certain areas sooner “pending approvals and the ability to source and lay replacement organic mulch”.

The Inner West mayor, Darcy Bryne, responded to this new deadline with anger saying “This is not a high school history assignment in which you ask for more time, this is a public safety threat that should have been cleaned up before now,” and claiming that it makes the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) look like a “toothless tiger”.

An EPA spokesperson has explained that the extension was granted after Transport for NSW “cited difficulties accessing some areas in the parklands and surrounding areas” and had made the argument that extra measures had to be taken in order to reduce the impact on the environment. The EPA has also detailed how the government department are going to be required to produce clearance certificates from a licensed asbestos board before they allow the park to be reopened.

To learn more on this ongoing story read our other blog posts and reports from The Guardian.


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