Thursday, May 30, 2024

Asbestos found at Sydney aged care home

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) investigation into asbestos contaminated mulch across Sydney has returned six new positive results, including a private aged care facility at St Ives.

The Authority has not released the name of the aged care facility but says the contaminated site has been secured to protect residents.

Meanwhile, City of Sydney Council has reported one sample of friable asbestos and several samples for bonded asbestos in mulch at Bicentennial Park 1, Glebe, which is part of the Glebe foreshore area.

The EPA is awaiting the detail of those test results, but Council has advised this area of the parklands is fenced off.

Another five sites returned positive results for bonded asbestos:

  • North Rosebery Park, Rosebery
  • A private aged care facility, St Ives
  • An industrial area, Rouse Hill
  • A private property
  • Mary Mackillop Catholic Parish (pictured), Oran Park

Mary Mackillop Catholic Parish is in close proximity to St Justin’s Catholic Parish Primary School and St Benedict’s Catholic College in Oran Park. Mulch has only been identified on Parish property, but precautionary testing will be done at both schools, the EPA said in a statement.

Precautionary testing will also be undertaken at four hospitals, including Westmead Hospital, Sydney Children’s Hospital, Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital and Nepean Hospital, as well as two ambulance stations, in Tumut and Woy Woy. Impacted areas at these sites will be cordoned off, the EPA confirmed

The Authority is still awaiting test results from two previously identified schools. These are:

  • Mount Annan Christian College, Currans Hill
  • Trinity Catholic Primary School, Kemps Creek

There are now a total of 47 positive sites. As of 6pm yesterday, 796 tests have returned negative results since January 10. Those that have been cleared include:

  • Edmondson Park Public School, Edmondson Park
  • Allambie Flat, in the Royal National Park, (site will be re-opened)

Over the past few days, thanks to the support of Fire and Rescue NSW, the EPA has made significant progress in testing sites across Sydney.

“The EPA would like to reassure households that only a small number of residential properties have tested positive to bonded asbestos in mulch. We are providing a licensed asbestos assessor, and if necessary, a contractor to remove the mulch,” the Authority said.

“As per our February 18 update, testing on median strips at Sydney Olympic Park has returned negative results for asbestos. There will be no impacts to scheduled events.”

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