Northern Territory Senator Nigel Scullion says he is appalled that dangerous uncovered asbestos is still placing Maningrida residents at risk.
“During a visit to the west Arnhem community on Tuesday October 4 I was shocked to see that the damaged asbestos lining the eaves of the Shire’s office in the town has still not been repaired or replaced, “ said Senator Scullion.
“I have been advised that the damaged asbestos lining was first reported to the West Arnhem Shire CEO in February as an urgent matter yet this deadly material had been left uncovered and open ever since – a period of eight months.
“The shire could hardly say they are unaware of the problem as it is their own office and the matter was even reported in the NT News on 12 Jul 2011,” said Senator Scullion.
“At the time the Shire blamed bored vandals and claimed to be assessing options and implementing repairs.
“A further three months later and community residents, including women and children, are required to be continually exposed to the deadly material as they must walk under and near the eaves to access necessary services such as the post office, Centrelink office, the credit union as well as a popular take away in the Shire office complex.
“Asbestos fibres are potentially lethal and I am outraged that the Shire has continually and knowingly placed the lives of the residents of Maningrida at risk,” Senator Scullion said.
“I do not care how diabolical the Shires financial position is or how badly the finances have been managed. “There are no excuses for the failure to act.
“The Shire CEO must immediately ensure that the damaged asbestos is covered and arrange the complete repair as a matter of urgency.
“To continue to fail to do so is simply scandalous.
“This must be fixed and fixed now,” said Senator Scullion.
“I will also be requesting that this entire episode be fully investigated and if it is indeed asbestos, then someone must be held accountable for putting Maningrida residents’ lives at risk,” said Senator Scullion.
Media contact: Russel Guse – 0438 685645
Download media release:
111007 asbestos dangers ignored in Maningrida.pdf