A PARK in Murwillumbah has been closed after recent heavy rain exposed fibro sheeting riddled with asbestos.
Small pieces of compressed bonded sheeting were first found protruding from the ground in an off-leash dog area at the Frangela Drive Reserve on 9 August.
Recent heavy rainfall has scoured the land even further, exposing more pieces of fibro. Testing by Tweed Shire Council confirmed the fibro contained asbestos.
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The park has since been cordoned off and signs erected, warning residents to stay away.
The site was previously used as a local landfill which was closed more than 50 years ago and later filled in to create the park.
Council’s Manager of Building and Environmental Health, David McNicoll, assured residents and the public that the park did not represent a danger to people or their animals.
“Fibro sheeting before, say the 1970s, did contain asbestos, however, it is in a compressed, bonded form which represents a low level of risk to the public unless it is drilled and sawn,” Mr McNicoll said.
“We’ve organised for a certified asbestos removal company to remove all remaining fragments of the fibro tomorrow (Saturday) and then we will have an independent consultant provide a clearance certificate to give the site the all-clear, after which the fencing and signs will be removed.
“In the longer term, we’ll commission an independent organisation to undertake a thorough risk assessment and recommend the best option for the long-term management of the site.”
“We’re doing a letterbox drop to residents today and will continue to keep them informed of any longer-term solutions that may need to be implemented following the independent risk assessment.”