Community uproar has forced supermarket giant Coles to close off their site for a proposed supermarket at Box Hill, over fears of asbestos contamination.
According to “disgusted” Castle Hill Liberal MP, Ray Williams, who raised the matter in Parliament, Coles had leased the site to a contractor.
Mr Williams stated he will pursue Coles until the site is remediated.
“On behalf of the safety of the families in my community, Coles should immediately clean this site thoroughly and then pursue the offenders who dumped the contaminated rubbish,” Mr Williams said.
In Parliament Mr Williams said: “A month ago a local resident in my electorate noticed waste building materials being illegally deposited late at night onto a five-acre block of rural land in Box Hill, and raised the alarm immediately with the council.
“The council inspected the property at 25 Terry Road, Box Hill, and issued a clean-up notice to a company by the name of Demo Worx on 15 August this year to be implemented by 16 September 2015.
“On Monday 17 August, another resident contacted me advising that the owner of this site had put a leaflet into residents’ letterboxes stating that asbestos of both a friable and bonded nature has been detected on the site.”
“As we know, friable asbestos is 100 per cent pure and, because it is very soft, it can become airborne and extremely dangerous if it is blown around. If it is subsequently breathed in, it can cause asbestosis and/or mesothelioma.
“The resident who contacted me, said that at the time a westerly wind was blowing straight across nearby homes, which are as close as 30 meters from that dangerous material.
“At the time the asbestos had not been buried or covered and was exposed to the elements.
“It was just lying in a heap on the property. Several very young children live with families in adjoining properties.
“I contacted the council immediately and was advised that the owner of the property is none other than Coles Supermarkets. Coles apparently purchased this five-acre rural block of ground at number 25 Terry Road, Box Hill.
“The property is in the middle of a new residential release area. The site eventually will be used for a new Coles Supermarket as the area develops.
“In the meantime, Coles has leased the property to receive some income from its investment until construction of the supermarket begins. The company that Coles leased the site to is KMAC Waste Services Pty Ltd trading under the business name of Demo Worx. Demo Worx is a demolition company that removes waste materials from building sites across Sydney.
“Following my latest representations to the council, the property is now in virtual lockdown with a 24-hour security guard parked outside. There is an encompassing mesh and steel boundary fence with several large “Keep Out, Asbestos” signs on it.”
Read Ray’s full speech in Parliament here
Watch Channel 7’s report here
‘Asbestos fears close off site’ Rouse Hill Times (9 September 2015)