Asbestos discovery triggers school closures

Asbestos discovery triggers school closures

Contaminated mulch has now been found at four Sydney schools, including Allambie Heights Public School, Liverpool West Public School, Penrith Christian School, and St Luke's Catholic College, the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s newly created Asbestos Taskforce confirmed on Saturday.

Asbestos has now been detected in mulch at more than 30 sites across Sydney, including a supermarket, two hospitals and several public parks.

St Luke's and Liverpool West will be closed to students this week, while Allambie Heights Public School and Penrith Christian School and will remain operational, but with several areas closed to the public.

Precautionary testing is taking place at ´╗┐Domremy College at Five Dock, Edmonson Park Public School, Mount Annan Christian College, and Trinity Catholic Primary School at Kemps Creek, however the NSW Environment Protection Authority said there is no evidence of contamination at these schools.

The NSW Department of Education Secretary, Murat Dizdar told The Guardian that recycled mulch contaminated with asbestos going into schools had been “a great shame”.

“There shouldn’t be recycled mulch and there should not be certainly mulch that has any remnants of any asbestos,” he said.

In light of the asbestos crisis, Dizdar said the NSW Government is reminding all contractors working on NSW public schools of their obligations.