News and updates

EPA investigation uncovers Corkman pub waste

25 Oct 2016

An ongoing Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) investigation has located construction and demolition waste (PDF 316KB) removed from a site in Carlton where the Corkman pub was demolished.  

EPA Metro Manager Daniel Hunt said EPA had located the waste at 93 Furlong Road, Cairnlea, following a tip-off from the community to EPA’s 1300 EPA VIC pollution hotline. 

‘EPA officers took samples of the waste at the Cairnlea site today and test results have confirmed asbestos is present,’ Mr Hunt said. 

Mr Hunt said EPA would now issue a notice to the owner of the Cairnlea site that will require them to cover the waste to prevent any dust leaving the premises and impacting nearby residential properties. 

The site owner must also erect signage around the boundary of the property advising that asbestos is present and wet the waste to prevent asbestos fibres leaving the site until a cover is installed.  

‘The owner will be required to undertake air monitoring at the site to ensure there is no airborne asbestos present; they must also install controls to prevent any sediment from the premises discharging and contaminating the local stormwater system,’ Mr Hunt said.

The owner of the site must also engage a suitably qualified asbestos consultant to assess the premises and produce an asbestos management plan that details both the on-site management and the safe removal of the asbestos.  

EPA will require the asbestos to be removed once the management plan is developed.  

‘Anyone who dumps construction and demolition waste, or permits its illegal disposal, faces a fine of up to $758,350 if prosecuted,’ Mr Hunt said. 

‘The tip-off we received really demonstrates the value of community reporting, and we thank the person who called us. It may have taken us much longer to find the waste without that valuable information.’

Mr Hunt said EPA continued to take strong enforcement action at the Carlton site.  

On 19 October EPA issued a statutory notice requiring the site owners to comply with four requirements by particular dates, including to cover rubble and debris by 24 October.  

Mr Hunt said EPA would shortly issue a $7,500 fine to the site owners for failing to adequately cover the debris by the required date. EPA officers have inspected the site and the covering which has been installed does not sufficiently cover the debris.   

He said other requirements of the EPA notice included:  

  • The installation of signage warning of asbestos, which was complied with last Friday, 21 October. 
  • The site owners must install controls to prevent any sediment from the premises contaminating the stormwater system. This must occur by 28 October.
  • The site owners must engage a suitably qualified asbestos consultant to assess the premises and produce an asbestos management plan. This must occur by 18 November.  

‘Failure to comply with the additional requirements of the notice could result in further fines or prosecution,’ Mr Hunt said.  

In addition, on 20 October the site owners were issued with a second notice requiring them to produce documentation that stated where any waste removed from the site had been taken.  

This notice was not complied with by the due date, 4 pm on 24 October, but EPA has since received some documentation from the site owners and is assessing it as part of its overall investigation into a range of possible offences under the Environment Protection Act 1970.  

EPA is continuing to work with WorkSafe, the Victorian Building Authority, City of Melbourne and City of Brimbank to ensure human health and the environment are protected.

Page last updated on 27 Oct 2016