New information provided to Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has revealed that building sheet fragments that contain asbestos remain in rubble at a Cairnlea property.
EPA Executive Director of Regional Services, Damian Wells said EPA had received an asbestos clearance letter from the solicitors of the site occupiers last Friday, produced by specialist asbestos contractors, confirming asbestos was safely removed from two stockpiles of material allegedly taken from the Corkman Irish Pub and dumped at 93B Furlong Rd.
“As a precaution, EPA officers inspected the site to conduct a walk-through and visually identified some material that resembled asbestos sheet fragments, which was surprising and of concern given the asbestos clearance letter that we’d received from the company last Friday evening,” Mr Wells said.
"EPA’s test results have now confirmed these fragments are asbestos."
WorkSafe attended the site yesterday and has asked the site owner to take new measures to reduce the risks associated with asbestos bearing material being found on the site.
Mr Wells said the site owner must continue to comply with EPA notices requiring them to maintain a covering over rubble at the site until all asbestos material is safely removed.
“As a further step, an EPA officer has today spoken to the site owner’s solicitor to relay EPA’s expectations in relation to the Cairnlea site,” he said.
The notices issued by EPA also require the site owner to maintain signage at the site advising asbestos is present and ensure there are controls in place to prevent stormwater discharge.
They must also inform the local primary school and surrounding residents before any asbestos material is removed.
In addition, the site owner must inspect the property daily to ensure the waste covering remains free of rips and tears and completely covers the rubble.
“The risk to community remains extremely low and the actions we’ve taken are a precaution to give the community confidence that they’re protected from any harm,” Mr Wells said.
EPA will today issue the site owner with a clean up notice requiring all waste to be removed from the Cairnlea site in the coming weeks.
In conjunction with the Brimbank City Council, EPA will hold an information session tomorrow night at the Cairnlea Town Centre shopping centre, on Furlong Road, from 4-7pm.
Members of the local community are invited to drop in at any time during the session and speak to EPA and Council representatives about any concerns they may have.
At the site of the razed Carlton pub, a notice requiring the company responsible for the site to maintain a covering over debris remains in place.
EPA continues to work with the City of Melbourne, Brimbank City Council, WorkSafe, the Victorian Building Authority and others to resolve the issues at the Cairnlea and Carlton sites.