Tuesday, 30 April 2019 09:37

Asbestos a toxic tax on local government Featured

Illegally dumped asbestos Illegally dumped asbestos

Media release - April 30, 2019

Asbestos-contaminated sites uncovered on Sydney road projects (SMH April 29,2019) present a significant challenge to the NSW Government in terms of disposal and funding the cost of remediation.

However, the remediation of asbestos has long been an ongoing challenge for local councils.

WSROC acknowledges the complexity surrounding asbestos disposal and cost. The clean-up of illegally dumped asbestos is a recurring challenge that costs Western Sydney councils millions of dollars each year.

The prevalence of asbestos in Western Sydney’s ‘fibro belt’, combined with the perception that asbestos disposal is expensive and time consuming, has led to wide-scale illegal dumping and unlawful disposal across the region.

Increased DIY home projects and widespread misinformation on the subject have contributed to the issue, which is amplified by the rapid scale and scope of development occurring in the region, particularly on the rural fringes of Sydney.

These areas are currently being opened up by the state government roads projects that are now encountering asbestos.

Asbestos is also a major health issue. A report to the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency, dated 24 March 2017, noted a base scenario projecting 19,427 cases of mesothelioma to be diagnosed in Australia between 2015 and 2100.

WSROC president Cr Barry Calvert stated: “It is WSROC’s position that a greater proportion of the waste levy must be returned to Western Sydney councils, to assist with the crippling burden of asbestos.

It is vital that the scourge of asbestos becomes a matter of priority across both levels of government, and not left to fester throughout our communities.”

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