Council assures safety a priority

Victoria’s Environment Protection Authority confirmed that asbestos cement sheeting is present in soil at Apollo Bay including along the foreshore.

Victoria’s Environment Protection Authority confirmed that asbestos cement sheeting is present in soil at Apollo Bay including along the foreshore.

CONTRACTORS will continue work on a car park at Apollo Bay despite the discovery of asbestos sheeting in soil removed from the site.

The Colac Otway Shire Council contractors started to install lighting at the Pascoe Street car park last week.

Environment Protection Authority officials confirmed small pieces of cement sheeting found in soil along Apollo Bay’s foreshore contained asbestos.

The soil along the foreshore came from the Pascoe Street car park construction site.

Colac Otway Shire Council chief Sue Wilkinson said contractors had three main tasks to finish at the site.

“They are the construction of the waste enclosure, the rehabilitation of any pavement that has moved during summer, and asphalting over the previously spray-sealed surface,” she said.

“Only one of these tasks – the construction of the waste enclosure – involves the disturbance of soil and rock under the existing spray seal.”

Ms Wilkinson said the contractor would abide by safety precautions when completing earthworks after the asbestos find.

“During the digging of all footings for the waste enclosure, council’s contractor will be closely supervising the work,” she said.

“If any suspicious material is identified, all relevant occupational health and safety requirements will be complied with, as detailed in the existing contract.

“Any spoil material resulting from the waste enclosure construction will be managed and disposed of in a safe and legal manner, as detailed in the existing contract,” Ms Wilkinson said.

“As with all work sites the car park will be closed to the public while the work is taking place to ensure the community’s safety.”

The EPA issued three notices requiring ongoing containment and restricted access to three areas of soil at Apollo Bay last week including parts of the foreshore, golf club and pony club.

Ms Wilkinson said council officials were closely monitoring the incident.

“Council has followed the issues on the Apollo Bay foreshore closely and we have been in regular contact with the Otway Coast Committee,” she said.

“We’re very conscious of the issues and the safety of our community and our contractors is a priority.

“The remaining minor earthworks are not scheduled until the end of the tourist season to minimise disruption to traders.”

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