Minister needs to cut holiday short and agree to audit of public land

Liberal Party Victoria

The Allan Labor Government must act responsibly and agree to a broad audit of dangerous materials on State land.

Over Easter, a father who was at a park with his children, found asbestos. The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) publicly stated that asbestos was only in one park.

Since that statement, six parks have been confirmed with asbestos, and a number of suspected locations are currently being tested. The problem is much bigger than the EPA initially told Victorians it was.

Disappointingly, both the agency charged with keeping the community safe from harmful materials and the Labor Government have proven to have been caught asleep.

Last week, the Victorian Liberals and Nationals called for a statewide audit of public land to get to the bottom of how widespread this issue is, a call that has now been backed by the Hobsons Bay Council.

What we also know is that when the New South Wales Government devoted 130 staff to investigating its parklands, 75 parks were found to contain asbestos.

The Allan Labor Government cannot hide from that level of risk, just because it doesn’t want to admit there is a problem.

Shadow Minister for the Environment, James Newbury, said: “The Minister for the Environment must still be on holiday. He must cut his two-week holiday short and urgently approve calls for a broad audit of public land.

“Asbestos is dangerous and every day we learn of newly confirmed sites where it is in parks near children.

“The Allan Labor Government cannot keep purposely hiding from the possibility of broader danger, by refusing to look into further sites.”

/Public Release. View in full here.