Asbestos Investigation Update – 20 February 2024

NSW Environment Protection Authority

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) investigation into asbestos contaminated mulch has returned six positive results and more than 100 negative test results in the past day.

City of Sydney Council is reporting 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; they are:

  • North Rosebery Park, Rosebery (site is secured)

  • A private aged care facility, St Ives (site is being secured)

  • An industrial area, Rouse Hill (site is being secured)

  • A private property (not publicly accessible)

  • Mary Mackillop Catholic Parish, Oran Park (site is secured)

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.

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.

We are 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.

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.

The EPA is providing a daily update on our website.

Asbestos investigation schools list:

Bonded asbestos detected in mulch

  • Allambie Heights Public School, Allambie Heights (school remains open, small isolated garden fenced off)

  • Domremy College, Five Dock (school remains open, site isolated and cordoned off)

  • Liverpool West Public School, Liverpool (school open at different site)

  • Penrith Christian School, Orchard Hills (school remains open, site fenced off)

  • St Luke’s Catholic College, Marsden Park (the school has made the decision to close for the week with parents being notified)

No bonded or friable asbestos detected in mulch

  • International Grammar School, Ultimo

  • North Sydney Public School, Waverton

  • St Michael’s Catholic Primary School, Daceyville

  • Westmead Christian Grammar School, Westmead

  • Edmondson Park Public School, Edmondson Park

Tested and awaiting results

  • Mount Annan Christian College, Currans Hill

  • Trinity Catholic Primary School, Kemps Creek

/Public Release.