CONTAMINATED MULCH: SYDNEY PARKS CLOSED

Friable asbestos has been discovered in mulch at Harmony Park in Sydney, leading to its closure. Asbestos was also reportedly found at Victoria and Belmore parks. Local authorities confirmed the contaminated mulch has been used in garden beds and under trees. 

The NSW EPA is investigating the contaminated mulch supply chain and considering a mass recall. The City of Sydney tested several public parks after being informed by the EPA about the possibility of receiving contaminated mulch from suppliers.

These discoveries raise broader concerns about asbestos presence in public spaces, especially after the recent confirmation by the NSW EPA of its presence in mulch at Liverpool West Public School and the discovery of contaminated mulch at Campbelltown Hospital.

The Victorian union movement has longstanding concerns that there are insufficient barriers to prevent asbestos contaminated soil being used across Victoria with our guidance lagging behind other Australian jurisdictions and has repeatedly submitted that the systems to ensure recycled soil is appropriately inspected and tested for asbestos before being used are updated to reflect modern best-practice.

SafetyNet contacted our local regulator to inquire if similar situations could be occurring in Victoria and if so, what actions are being taken to address the issue.

EPA Victoria has responded, stating that the supplier in question is not licensed to operate in Victoria, and no links to the state have been identified by both EPA Victoria and EPA NSW.

‘Victorian composting or mulching facilities are not permitted to take material containing asbestos. We have controls in place to ensure that mulch meets the required standards.

You can report any instances of contaminated mulch to us using our webform.

 

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