Asbestos risk to resident’s health

Greens MLC for the Mining and Pastoral region Robin Chapple has expressed serious concerns about the state government’s slow response to allegations of asbestos contamination on crown land in the Kalgoorlie suburb of Williamstown.

A review carried out by Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM) last week found five blocks along Austral Rd, Williamstown – all of which are unfenced and unsigned - contained reportable levels of asbestos.

KCGM have agreed to fence and signpost the block at 38 Austral Rd, which falls under their responsibility, as soon as possible however the other four blocks will be subjected to a government assessment which could take as long as three months before any remedial action is taken.

Mr Chapple said when it comes to dangerous substances, such as asbestos, being in such close proximity to people’s homes the government should take action first and then investigate.

“The blocks along Austral Rd should all be immediately fenced off from the public and warnings put in place to let people know there is asbestos present,” he said.

“This will provide Williamstown residents with some peace of mind whilst the proper government processes are carried out, but as it is these are wide open and publicly accessible spaces.

“Asbestos is known to be highly toxic to humans; it is absolutely reckless for this government not to immediately take action where people’s health is concerned.”

Mr Chapple said this latest threat to the residents of Williamstown was just another in a long line of problems over many years due to the mining operations of KCGM.

“This again just highlights the insensitivity of KCGM towards the residents of Williamstown,” he said.

“They very clearly have an ulterior motive with regards to Williamstown and this is having an adverse effect on the suburb’s residents.”

For comment please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255.

Media liaison: Tim Oliver           

Mobile: 0431 9696 25

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