by GRACE JOHNSON
In the latest update on Rozelle Parklands, work will reportedly begin tomorrow remove and dispose of all mulch contaminated with asbestos from across the site.
The parklands will remain closed for at least 6 weeks after traces of the potentially cancer-causing material was found in the mulch of the recently opened park.
Transport for NSW (TfNSW) Secretary Josh Murray said, “We are focussed on getting this site returned to the community in a manner that provides absolute confidence in its condition, quality and safety.”
“This will be a methodical process. Even when dealing with small samples of bonded material, we will be taking full asbestos handling precautions across the entire park.”
Work will commence at the eastern Victoria Road end of the park and progress westwards to allow for the staged re-opening of the site to the community.
Walking and bicycle paths through the park will be closed during the clean-up work.
Up to 30 workers will be on site over coming weeks to ensure full compliance with the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA) deadline of February 29 to remove the affected mulch.
TfNSW together with contractor John Holland CPB Joint Venture will reportedly make regular updates the local community as work progresses.
TfNSW recently came under fire when it was revealed that the state’s transport authority blamed the Christmas holidays for taking seven days for reports of asbestos in the playground’s mulch to reach the right team.
The EPA considers the finding of asbestos in the playground “an emergency”, with their final clean-up notice on January 15 stating, “The EPA reasonably suspects there is more than 10 tonnes of material containing asbestos, being asbestos waste, that has been applied to land in an area of the premises and is causing land pollution.”