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The Grantham Heritage Park in Seven Hills is among Blacktown Council facilities assured is asbestos safe. Photo supplied by Blacktown City Council. The Grantham Heritage Park in Seven Hills is among Blacktown Council facilities assured is asbestos safe. Photo supplied by Blacktown City Council. Featured
17 February 2024 Posted by 


City's 800 parks and 5,000 facilities at risk 
IF asbestos is identified in any of Blacktown City Council’s 800 plus parks and 5,000 facilities, an immediate investigation by authorities will be conducted for community safety.
The urgent action from the state’s largest council comes as more than 24 sites, at least six are located in Western Sydney, have been identified at risk or possibly at risk of asbestos debris.
The taskforce initiated by the NSW Environmental Protection Authority, Department of Health and Department of Education are conducting the assessments.
Four schools, a hospital, a shopping centre and a park owned by Transport NSW located in Western Sydney are currently undergoing testing by the taskforce with results to be made available on the EPA website.
“If asbestos is identified anywhere in Blacktown City, Council staff [will] promptly investigate,” a council spokesman said.
“Any discovery of asbestos on a Council owned site puts into place a process where the site is closed, and Environmental Health Officers investigate.
“We utilise a list of contractors that includes Occupational Hygienists and licensed asbestos removalists to deal with any asbestos.”
Since 2020, the spokesman said, Council has specifically instructed their suppliers that mulches for its facilities must originate from tree-based material and supplier company certified by the EPA prior.
When council conducts ongoing tree maintenance across its 54 suburbs, the spokesman said council also generates its own mulch supply.
The procedure is being done “avoid use of material that is sourced from building or construction waste or other waste like wooden pallets.”
Asbestos testings are taking place at Westmead Christian Grammar in Westmead, St Luke’s Catholic College in Marsden Park, Penrith Christian School in Orchard Hills, Mt Annan Christian College in Mt Annan, St John of God Hospital in North Richmond, Woolworths in Kellyville and a Transport for NSW park area at Wiley Park.
The EPA said it is providing this advice to keep everyone concerned abreast of developments particularly parents and students at those schools and the general public connected to those sites so they can keep their communities safe.
St Luke’s Catholic College in Marsden Park have been closed this Friday while those schools that remained open are advised to keep students and staff away from garden beds and around the site following testing results of bonded asbestos presence in some sites.
EPA have confirmed there are 24 sites across Sydney that have returned positive results for bonded asbestos since the discovery at Rozelle Parklands and other Sydney sites.
Asbestos testing has also started this Friday at Allambie Heights Public School in Allambie Heights, International Grammar School in Ultimo and North Sydney Public School in North Sydney.
The NSW Health has advised the asbestos initially found were “low risk to public health, and one site for friable asbestos.”
EPA testing officers are on the ground, and they are under supervision of the NSW Government Asbestos Taskforce which includes experts from NSW Health and NSW Department of Education.
These schools and sites in Western Sydney have been identified as having mulch from the same manufacturer that has supplied mulch to the 25 other sites that tested positive for bonded asbestos, the EPA said.
EPA has advised all landowners around the identified sites to put in place measures to prevent anyone accessing their site and to begin removal of the contaminated mulch.
EPA will advise what further actions can be taken, but parents of students in identified schools are advised to contact their school directly for updates on the situation.
For more information on asbestos investigation or to report concerns to contact EPA Environment Line on 131 555 or info@epa.nsw.gov.au.


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

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