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Council identifies possible asbestos in additional rural roads

14 September, 2012Posted in: Environment, Roads and Assets
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Wingecarribee Shire Council has today confirmed sections of a further 65 rural roads across the Shire may have been partly constructed with the same material found to contain an unknown amount of asbestos in four rural roads recently identified on the outskirts of Robertson.

The secondary roads have been identified after Council conducted retrospective investigations into the source of the material which was used between 2004 and 2008.

“As with the four roads in Robertson, Council will engage an independent asbestos specialist to conduct examinations of the surfaces of the newly identified roads,” said Council’s Manager of Operations, Peter Bowmer.

“These examinations will include visual inspections, air quality monitoring and risk assessments,” he said.

“Based on these findings, Council will then work with the proper authorities to determine the best course of action to remediate the roads as swiftly as possible.”

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), Department of Health and WorkCover NSW have been notified of the findings. Council has met with these agencies to discuss test results and establish an appropriate Asbestos Management Plan. Once finalised, Council will notify residents of the appropriate course of action.

“It is important to remember that whilst we’ve now identified which roads the material was used on, these sections only comprise a small component of the entire length of these roads,” Mr Bowmer said.

“The re-constructed sections of these rural roads range from 130 metres to just over 4 kilometres in length.”

Whilst visual examinations undertaken by independent asbestos specialists on the four unsealed remote roads containing the hard-packed composite material in Robertson identified fragments of asbestos, both the surrounding air quality and soil samples were found to be clear of any fibres.

The source of the raw material used to construct the roads is still the subject of ongoing investigations.

“And whilst Council has now identified which sections of road the material was used in, it’s imperative that residents or motorists do not search for, or disturb any material which they believe may contain asbestos, but rather, let the specialists trained in identifying and handling this product carry out their investigations.”

Further information on the management of asbestos can be found on the Federal Government’s Department of Health and Ageing at www.health.gov.au.

Council has issued letters to all identified property owners informing them of the precautionary tests.

Residents living on the identified roads wanting further information are encouraged to contact Council on mobile 0429 997 193 during business hours.