Asbestos clean-up cash

The contaminated site at C. Y. O’Connor Institute.
The contaminated site at C. Y. O’Connor Institute.

Shire of Northam President Steven Pollard said a contamination investigation at the site had been ongoing for 18 months.

‘Surveys showed there was low-level contamination from asbestos,’ Mr Pollard said.

‘The issue dates back to when the site was used as a migrant camp and it was possibly just bulldozed and buried.’

Environment Minister Albert Jacob said $1.75 million in funding would be used to investigate and clean 10 contaminated sites across WA.

He said they had been prioritised according to the risk or potential risk from contamination to people or the environment.

‘Priority is given to high-risk sites for which the state is responsible under the Contaminated Sites Act 2003,’ Mr Jacob said.

‘These projects will tackle the risks to both public health and the environment from practices such as the disposal of liquid wastes on the Gnangara Mound and the mining of blue asbestos in Wittenoom.

‘Often, contamination has built up over decades. These funds will support detailed investigations of each site to ensure the most effective remediation techniques can be applied.’

The funds for the clean-up come from the Contaminated Sites Management Account, which is administered by the Department of Environment Regulation.