Asbestos detected at Emu Park transfer station and NuGrow Rockhampton

Laboratory results have confirmed asbestos has been detected in a mulch stockpile at Livingstone Shire Council’s Emu Park transfer station.

The contaminated material was detected as part of a joint targeted inspection program led by the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation (DESI) with the support of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ).

As a precaution, Council has closed the transfer station and asked residents to avoid disturbing any mulch obtained from the facility.

DESI are investigating the matter and are working with Council to determine where the contaminated mulch has been taken offsite and are implementing measures to ensure the contaminated material is not distributed further.

DESI will also be working closely with Council and Queensland Health to assess any risks to the general public. We will immediately inform the community if any health risks are identified.

It is understood that the asbestos found was bonded asbestos and only a small number of residents have picked up mulch from the transfer station over recent weeks, suggesting there is a low risk to the community.

DESI will review Council’s asbestos handling processes and will inspect the site again to ensure they are operating in compliance with the necessary controls and procedures.

Any residents who are concerned they may have received contaminated mulch from the Emu Park transfer station can contact Livingstone Shire Council on 1300 790 919 or the DESI Pollution Hotline on 1300 130 372, press 2.

DESI is also investigating after proactive testing at NuGrow Rockhampton returned positive results for asbestos.

The samples were not part of a stockpile of finished compost material and it is not considered to be in materials that have left the site at this stage. Further testing is underway.

/Public Release. View in full here.