Dangerous dumping disgusts

The asbestos dumped near Searle Street. Picture: Bruce Hunt
The asbestos dumped near Searle Street. Picture: Bruce Hunt

Resident Lisa Kestle and her husband were walking their dog on vacant land near Searle Street on October 31 when they saw asbestos on a dirt track.

Mrs Kestle said she called the City that day to report the material but by November 6 it was still there.

‘My husband is a licensed asbestos removalist, so he knows the dangers,’ she said.

‘Kids play near this land on their bikes ” it should have been cleaned up immediately.’

City of Swan CEO Mike Foley said it takes between three to five working days to clear reported asbestos.

‘The City did receive notification on October 31 and the matter was investigated the next morning by a waste recycling management supervisor, who confirmed a small amount at the location,’ he said.

‘As the material was identified as asbestos, the City’s licensed asbestos removal contractor is required to remove it.’

He said it should have been removed by November 7.

‘These incidents are all deemed urgent and are treated as such, however, if there are spikes in this type of incident then obviously it impacts on the response times for removal,’ he said.

Mr Foley said the City had received 11 reports of dumped asbestos this year. He would not reveal specifics but he said several ‘hot spots’ were in rural areas.

‘Generally speaking, they are often adjacent to new development areas,’ he said.

‘These are used by unscrupulous people who have identified an area where they believe their activity will be unnoticed.

‘Trends have also indicated the majority of dumping occurs outside of normal business hours.’

Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia president Robert Vojakovic commended the council for dealing with the incident in a timely manner.

‘The danger of these materials is that people who live near the site would have a higher risk of asbestos diseases,’ he said.