Dangerous dump derided

Dumped asbestos material is collected from a site in West Swan in an incident that has outraged authorities and residents. Pictures: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d406056
Dumped asbestos material is collected from a site in West Swan in an incident that has outraged authorities and residents. Pictures: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d406056

West Swan resident Roy Pintor was driving through the area when he saw four piles of fence sheeting, with plastic bags believed to be asbestos dumped at the end of a secluded street.

‘There’s evidence of masks, clothes, beer bottles, there’s evidence that someone has dumped the asbestos in this street,’ he said.

‘I think this is outrageous, it’s clearly a contractor appointed to remove asbestos who has taken advantage of dumping it, rather than disposing of it correctly.’

City CEO Mike Foley said a council staff member later attended the site and, with the presence of asbestos confirmed, organised for a licensed contractor to remove it.

‘Dealing with this kind of illegal dumping is an expensive burden on the City and its ratepayers,’ he said.

‘I urge anyone who sees illegal dumping ” of any type of material ” to take note of as many details as possible and report the offence. ‘

Fines for people convicted of illegal dumping have increased significantly to $62,500 per individual and $125,000 for companies.

‘We hope these severe new penalties, a considerable rise from the previous maximum fine of $1000, will act as a deterrent,’ Mr Foley said.

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.

The City has commissioned a new mobile CCTV unit, which will be used to target dumping hotspots in a bid to clamp down on the problem.