Blue Mountains City Council

Asbestos Management

30 November 2017


Over recent weeks, very serious allegations have been made in the media against the Council, and against individual Council officers, in relation to the management of asbestos in Council owned properties, and in relation to the recruitment of staff and consultants.

In response, Council has initiated independent investigations into these allegations. Also, we have undertaken further assessments of particular Council managed buildings and facilities in relation to asbestos related matters that have been raised in recent days, including the Katoomba Waste Management Facility and the Wentworth Falls Preschool Kindergarten.

Information on these matters is provided in the Downloads section (at the right of this page). Information about alternative options for the disposal of waste items is available here . This information will be updated regularly as these matters are addressed. Further information on asbestos and health risks is available at www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/factsheets/Pages/asbestos-and-health-risks.aspx  

The safety, health and wellbeing of our community and our employees are of paramount importance to the Council and the Council takes asbestos management seriously.

The need to identify and manage asbestos containing material is a challenge faced by Councils across NSW. Many Council-owned facilities contain asbestos containing material, as do approximately one-third of all homes in Australia, because asbestos was commonly used in the past for various building purposes.

It is only when fibro or other bonded asbestos sheeting is broken, damaged or mishandled, fibres can become loose and airborne and may pose a potential risk to health.

As matters of potential asbestos containing material arise, Council will continue to respond appropriately in accordance with its Asbestos Management Plan and procedures and take the necessary steps to address the issue and to minimise risks as a matter of urgency. The Council has been working with SafeWork NSW on all active asbestos management matters and will continue to do so.

At times this may cause some degree of disruption to facilities or services however it is important that we take a precautionary approach to community and workplace health and safety.