Asbestos risk rife in schools

An audit has revealed an asbestos risk in local schools.
An audit has revealed an asbestos risk in local schools.

The 2013 report, obtained by the State Opposition after it was released under the Freedom of Information Act last month, lists Bambara, Koondoola and Madeley primary schools, with Ocean Reef, Duncraig and Girrawheen high schools as having asbestos requiring immediate attention or removal.

Kingsley Primary School and Burbridge School are listed as medium-risk and needing action to prevent future health risks.

Bambara and Kingsley primary schools, Ocean Reef and Duncraig senior schools, and Burbridge School were identified in a 2010 Education Department building condition report as needing work on cement, vinyl flooring and eaves with asbestos.

The risk was considered low however, with the exception of Kingsley PS which ranked as high-risk.

North metropolitan MLC Ken Travers said the State Government had failed to remove asbestos highlighted in the 2010 report.

‘This is simply not good enough,’ Mr Travers said. ‘The Government has failed to make inroads into state school maintenance costs.’

Education Minister Peter Collier said in a statement last month the Government was taking precautions to manage asbestos in schools.

‘The State Government has an ongoing program of asbestos removal in schools where it presents a possible risk and last financial year we spent about $2 million on associated repairs and maintenance,’ he said. ‘Schools are in regular contact with the department if they have any health and safety concerns about their facilities .’

There are 121 WA public schools listed in the audit.