Council has become aware of the potential for asbestos contamination at 142 Greenbah Road, a portion of land adjoining the Gwydir Highway in Moree, where chips of fibrous cement have been reported.
Moree Plains Shire Council, Director of Planning and Community Development, Mr Angus Witherby said the land is a small section of park located across from the end of Boonery Road, and includes a grassed area and vegetated drainage channel extending down to the Mehi River.
Mr Witherby explained that “initial laboratory testing has identified that one of the chips collected from the surface contains asbestos and accordingly the area where surface chips have been identified has been fenced off. Spraying with glue is also being undertaken as precautionary measure”.
Council has commissioned an external firm with skills and qualifications in dealing with asbestos to undertake further site inspections and, if necessary, undertake excavations and other work to determine the extent of any potential contamination and provide a written report.
Council has made an initial report to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). The EPA will also be supplied with the written report from the external contractors following which a remediation plan will be developed and implemented.
“The overall risk to public health and safety is considered low due to the fact that the chips are of bonded material. Nevertheless, as a precaution, temporary fencing will be remaining in place until the conditions of the site have been fully addressed,” Mr Witherby said.