VICTORIA’S Environment Protection Authority has confirmed the presence of asbestos sheeting in soil at three locations around Apollo Bay.
Soil testing revealed the presence of the poisonous mineral in soil at Apollo Bay’s foreshore, golf club and pony club.
EPA monitoring at the locations detected no airborne breathable asbestos but the authority issued three notices regarding ongoing containment and restricted access to the areas.
EPA chief Nial Finegan said his organisation acted on a report about possible fragments of asbestos at the town last week.
“EPA, on a precautionary basis, quickly ensured the soil was contained and then conducted testing on the fragments and the soil to determine whether there was any asbestos present,” he said.
“Two notices have been issued to the Otway Coast Committee and one to the Apollo Bay Golf Club.
“These notices will be followed by clean-up notices next week.”
The asbestos was in soil from a car park construction at Apollo Bay’s Pascoe Street and the OCC used it to top up uneven areas at the foreshore, and provided soil to the golf club and pony club.
The committee helped EPA representatives cover, fence and erect warning signs at the affected locations after the asbestos discovery.
OCC chairman Andrew Buchanan said his group would continue to work with the EPA in the coming weeks.
“There is soil on the foreshore that has been found to contain small pieces of broken asbestos sheeting but the soil itself is not contaminated,” he said.
“And the air has been monitored across this site and there’s no air contamination either.
“Our committee’s priority was to manage the site as per the EPA requirements and in the next week or so we expect to be served further notices from the EPA about the clean up.”
Mr Buchanan said people could continue to use the affected sites despite the asbestos discovery.
“The clear message we have is the site is safe, the contamination is extremely low and the remediation works will be carried out under instruction from the EPA in a timely manner,” he said.
“We manage the foreshore for the benefit of the community and its visitors and it’s completely safe to come and visit and enjoy this area.”