HEALTH RISK: Rangeville resident Geoff Castle is concerned over asbestos pipes being dumped in parkland across from Heller St Park. Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 . Photo Nev Madsen / The Chronicle
HEALTH RISK: Rangeville resident Geoff Castle is concerned over asbestos pipes being dumped in parkland across from Heller St Park. Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 . Photo Nev Madsen / The Chronicle Nev Madsen

Roadwork crews behind asbestos playground dump

UPDATE: Workers from a nearby intersection upgrade were responsible for leaving a pile of deadly asbestos-tainted rubbish at Picnic Point Park.

A Toowoomba Regional Council spokesman said Black Spot Program works on the corner of Rowbotham and South Sts required water mains and electricity services to be relocated as part of the project.

"Spoil from this site was stock-piled at Heller St before it became apparent the pile contained asbestos cement water pipes.

"Workers last night cordoned off a pile of spoil containing soil and broken lengths of decommissioned asbestos-cement water pipes in Rangeville.

Rangeville resident Geoff Castle is concerned over asbestos pipes being dumped in parkland across from Heller St Park.
Rangeville resident Geoff Castle is concerned over asbestos pipes being dumped in parkland across from Heller St Park. Nev Madsen

"Council put control measures in place including wrapping an amount of suspected ac pipe, wetting down the stockpile, cordoning off the area and contacting a specialist removal company to remove all suspect material as soon as possible."

Toowoomba Regional Council chief executive officer Brian Pidgeon said that recent remedial actions had managed the risk to public health as the pipes had been contained.

He said it would be removed today.

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"Council staff enacted control procedures the moment the risk was identified, however, a full incident investigation will be undertaken as the asbestos materials should have been identified in the first place so as to ensure proper handling and disposal," Mr Pidgeon said.

"Council took immediate action to secure this area so the materials could be removed by certified contractors today.

Rangeville resident Geoff Castle is concerned over asbestos pipes being dumped in parkland across from Heller St.
Rangeville resident Geoff Castle is concerned over asbestos pipes being dumped in parkland across from Heller St. Nev Madsen

"A certificate to state the site has been cleared will be issued by the contractor and council will perform air monitoring over the weekend and undertake a final inspection next week before the site is re-opened.

"We take any safety issue for the public and our workers very seriously."

Mr Pidgeon said no further works on the water main relocation project would occur until there had been a full review by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland to ensure the correct control procedures were in place.

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EARLIER: Asbestos has been dumped at a Toowoomba park, outraging nearby residents.

An unknown person unloaded a pile of asbestos tainted rubbish at Picnic Point Park yesterday.

Toowoomba man Geoff Castle was driving home when he noticed the pile of dirt with asbestos pipes in it.

"I know it's asbestos because I'm an asbestos removalist," he said.

Mr Castle stopped, inspected the pile, took a sample and confirmed it was blue asbestos, one of the most dangerous types of asbestos.

Mr Castle quickly phoned Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and Toowoomba Regional Council.

He said it was a danger to the public, especially to children who used the park regularly.

"I recognised it because I remove it all the time, I've removed this sort of stuff for council in the past," he said.

Mr Castle said the rubbish, which includes pipes and bitumen, was likely broken up by an excavator.

"They transported it illegally, because you have to wrap it, then it was dumped illegally," he said.

"You're supposed to go to Toowoomba dump, you don't dump it in the middle of a public park where anyone can walk up and access it.

"It's 2015 and everybody knows that you shouldn't be doing this with asbestos.

"To dump it in the middle of a public park with full access to children is negligent, I hope whoever did this feels the full force of the law."

Mr Castle said contractors like himself spent a lot of money to be compliant with the legislation.

"Then you get cowboys like this who do the wrong thing, it's absolutely ridiculous," he said.

"I can't get in the head of people who do this, it's too stupid for words."

Mr Castle said he wanted to see Workplace Health and Safety Queensland regulators make an example of the people responsible.

The asbestos pile is still in the park this morning.

Contractors are currently attempting to remove the asbestos.


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