Parents have kept their children from a remote Kimberley school after an old asbestos building was demolished within the vicinity.
An angry Jacinta Monck, a mother of four, pulled her kids out of a Beagle Bay school after a section of its ceiling collapsed as the water-spray method was being used to prevent particles from becoming airborne. This resulted in a huge dust cloud that children were potentially exposed to on their recesses outside.
“There was a loud bang and a dust cloud had risen above the building being demolished,” Ms Monck said.
“The children were all ushered into the classroom and two of the school’s employees ran over to say ‘please stop work’.
“From that, it came that they would only work after school hours for the asbestos removal.”
Ms Monck was aware the work was going to take place, but no date was provided.
“I was not told about what happened until I got home (last Monday) because I live on an outstation on the Dampier Peninsula,” Ms Monck said. “I was shocked and pulled my children out for the rest of the week.”
“My thing is not with the contractors, it is with the timing of the whole thing – school holidays are just two weeks away. No one had any forethought.”
An incident report has been prepared for the Shire of Broome.
Mining and Pastoral Member Stephen Dawson has written to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs to call for a work-stop order on the site.
Mr Dawson stated in the letter that dismantling of the structure risked the health of children and urged a postponement on the works until school holidays.
“This will ensure that students are not necessarily taken out of school as the community becomes increasingly concerned for their children’s welfare,” he wrote.
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