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Former Council Workers Alleges Asbestos Cover Up Requests

A former northwestern NSW council worker has alleged that he was told to cover up dumped asbestos with green waste and garbage.

Mark Sankey revealed that he worked at landfill sites for Gwydir Shire Council between 2008 and March this year.

On several occasions he reported that he was asked to conceal the dumped asbestos with garbage and green waste and push it into walls or even burn it.

“When I was first in that job I was exposed to asbestos many, many times,” he told AAP on Wednesday.

“They would ask me to just push the asbestos under the garbage so people couldn’t see it.”

He said only two landfills in the area were locked, which made it easy to dump overnight.

He began to question the requests after receiving asbestos removal training.

“When I asked questions they threatened me with my job.”

In March, Mr Sankey said he was made redundant after being told his skills were no longer required.

Gwydir Shire Mayor John Coulton stated, “The council is confident that no staff member or member of the public has been endangered during the water pipe replacement program in Warialda,” he said in a statement.

WorkCover NSW and the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) have both pledged to investigate the matters.

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Source: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2013/09/25/council-worker-asked-cover-asbestos

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