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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In Junem Telstra shut down its asbestos removal program at telecommunications pits throughout the nation after concerns were raised that community had been exposed to the deadly fibres during remediation work.
Penrith was one of the sites first to be shut down and several members of the community were forced to evacuate their homes.
Telstra has since finished the clean-up work at five pits in the area but the inspections of 16 others, found more asbestos in the soil.
Telstra says 11 other pits throughout the area will be cleaned up by this week.
In a statement, the telco said it is uncertain whether the asbestos contamination came from the pits.
A review by Telstra this month revealed that key contractors needed more supervision and better supplies. .
Telstra’s chief operations officer Brendon Riley said the company will ensure that all mandatory standards are met by all staff.
Asbestos was often used in the 1980’s as a building material. It has since been prohibited to use, but remains a rising cause of death.
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Chief Minister Katy Gallagher discussed her unsuccessful attempts at convincing the Commonwealth into funding some of the clean-up costs from when it dumped a significant amount of contaminated soil in Canberra.
Gallagher claims the ACT government spent approximately $30 million to clean up and resign in the new Molonglo development. Almost 180,000 tonnes of asbestos were reportedly removed from the site by the ACT.
A site with 600,000 cubic metres of contaminated waste in Eastlake is expected to cost about $100 million to remove.
Gallagher strongly supports the ACT in their quest to convince the Commonwealth to contribute. The support she has stems from the belief that since the former government authority allowed such practices to occur then Canberra tax payers should not be held liable.
However, the Federal Government is expected to counter on the basis that since the land was transferred to the ACT, liability did as well.
The position of the opposition is that tax payers should not be held financially liable for the “incompetence” of the former governing authority.
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Brad Ayers, a contractor is one of the workers allegedly in the “significant potential exposure”
According to workers and union representatives, the workers began work on a bridge where much of their material is believed to be asbestos, however it was never tested to confirm.Work was only halted this month when an analysis identified a substance at the site was revealed to be chrysotile asbestos.
One of the highlighted concerns is that workers were exposed to this substance prior to going home and hugging their wives and children.Ayer is terrified over the prospect of exposing his young children to the deadly substance. He expressed his grave disappointment and anger that the employers allegedly lied to their faces.
The Roadtek project commenced after a truck smash left the overpass on Cunningham highway severely damaged.The Formwork on part of the bridge is made up of a 25mm sheet of asbestos which had to be removed following the crash.
A piece of material suspected to be asbestos was eventually turned in for analysis but work went ahead when staff was informed that the site was safe. Since workers were not informed of the dangers, they did not wear the proper protective equipment.
Chrysotile asbestos is identified as a Class 1 carcinogen under the National OHS commission.
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