Community Services & Infrastructure, Environment, Parks & Open Spaces, Public Health, Safety|

We’ve got a $50,000,000* problem, that isn’t of our making, and you’re crazily being expected to pick up the bill! Watch Tuesday’s Council meeting where this was discussed (jump to item 14.1).

The problem is James Hardie legacy sites – contaminated pieces of Council owned land, where asbestos was dumped/ used as fill by James Hardie – that we’re having to pay to remediate, and the majority of Councillors think that’s ok… when the NSW Government has previously agreed that they should be picking up the bill!

At our Council meeting on Tuesday, I called on my fellow Councillors to agree to advocate to the NSW Government and James Hardie to rightfully cover the cost of removing asbestos still polluting our parks, and to come up with a plan to fund the remediation that doesn’t involve you dipping into your pocket. See my Notice of Motion below.

BUT NO, the majority are happy for you to continue to pick up the bill at about $1,000,000 a year! That’s $1m that could go on upgrading playgrounds and sportsfields, resurfacing more roads, building more footpaths, stopping more litter from getting into our waterways or a million other things that you’ve asked for.

* A year ago I asked for an update on the cost estimate to remediate all remaining known James Hardie Legacy sites (keeping in mind that there is a chance more will be found) – the answer was $36.6m, and it will likely only get more expense each year. And this is on top of the estimated $10m+ already spent by Council, so our clean up bill to remove asbestos pollution across our City will easily be around $50m!

What do you think of this – and who do you think should pay?

You can read more about Council’s work to remediate the known James Hardie legacy sites on Council’s website – there’s a listing of work carried out each year since 2017.

Note: it’s important to keep in mind that the James Hardie legacy sites do not pose a health risk currently, as asbestos buried in soil is low risk if it is covered and not disturbed. However, if uncovered or disturbed, asbestos fibres can become airborne and breathed in or ingested, which can cause health risks. Exposure to asbestos fibres can cause serious health conditions like asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. This is why Council has management plans in place and is remediating the James Hardie legacy sites.

One Reply to “A $50m Problem – James Hardie Legacy Sites”

  1. Claudia says:

    Outrageous. Clearly the other councillors don’t speak for the majority of us living in the area.

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