City News

Asbestos clouds Westconnex’ reputation

WestConnex faces asbestos trouble. Photo: Supplied


The WestCONnex Action Group has slammed the infrastructure project after a “second potentially deadly breach” in the St Peters area.

The breach involved the unsafe demolition of an asbestos infested house on the 14th of February.

Sydney Motorway Corporation reinvestigated the house at 4 Brown Street for any asbestos in early February after repeated community complaints that an earlier clearance in January wasn’t thorough enough.

Demolition crews began removing the contaminated material from the area after finding more asbestos in the house. According to residents a significant amount was left on the site.

Demolition crews potentially released asbestos material into the air when destruction of the site continued on the 14th of February.

Tamara Regan, St Peters resident, said: “I couldn’t believe it. I’d just spoken to the demolition workmen. I’d told them there was still asbestos on the property, because it was the same material as the fibro that had asbestos.”

“I kept telling the workers it was asbestos and they laughed at me. It was only when they realised I was filming that they stopped work, rolled out asbestos tape, and put on protective gear.

“It was a really windy day, but they proceeded to remove the asbestos without sealing off the affected area,” she said.

The incident came less than a week after iron sheeting was blown onto a road from a Westconnex demolition site.

Pauline Lockie, WestCONnex Action Group spokesperson, said she believed it was only a “matter of time before someone gets seriously injured or killed” because of Westconnex safety breaches.

“Residents are regularly witnessing violations of health and safety procedures,” Ms Lockie told City Hub.

“Even now that it looks like a catastrophic error has been made, work hasn’t been shut down, and no one at WestCONnex has been held accountable.”

Despite community complaints, a Sydney Motorway Corporation spokesperson said: “The safety of the community and workers is of the highest importance in the management of material containing asbestos.”

The spokesperson said all asbestos containing material had been identified during the clearing work and the site had been subject to regular inspections from SafeWork NSW and other authorities.