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Samples from the Paspaley Building site have been sent in for tests by an independent inspector.
The four-storey building has been under demolition for several weeks in preparation for building the 18-storey Charles Darwin Centre on the corner of Smith and Bennett streets.
Union officials discovered positively identified traces of white asbestos on the site late last month.
However, builders say all asbestos was carefully removed from the site and that the union was causing trouble and maybe even planted the substance.The original removalists checked the site again and found nothing.
Building architect Ross Connolly yesterday said Worksafe NT reported the site as safe and said the union was “stirring the pot”.
“They allegedly discovered some asbestos sheet,” he said.
“Worksafe has confirmed that the material found was not asbestos,”
He said the site was certified as free of asbestos by a certified removalist who removed the deadly substance from the building several weeks ago.
“Clearly when you do an asbestos register there’s always the risk that there might be some asbestos that might be not evident at the time the register was prepared,” he said.
“The contract for the removal makes it incumbent on the operator to obviously deal with anything that turns up in the removal process.
“There’s a later risk that when you demolish a floor slab or something underneath, given that we’re talking about a part of the town that was around in the war, there could be some asbestos sheeting in the soil underneath the building that was neither undiscoverable at the time of the asbestos register preparation nor at the removal.”
CFMEU assistant secretary Jade Ingham said the site was “riddled” with asbestos.
“I can tell you we’ve better things to do than stir the pot and turn up on sites,” he said.
“If they were resolute why did they shut the site?” CFMEU official Ben Laokes said they found 10cm x 10cm sheets of material on the site.
“The document provided to us saying the asbestos was removed but then you walk through and see sheeting everywhere,” he said.
“It didn’t take us long to find it. We took four steps into the site and we found it. It’s all broken up.
“The workers there had concerns about it.”
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