Asbestos lingers in Inverloch school yard
ASBESTOS may finally be removed from the grounds of Inverloch Primary School after a slow response from the Department of Education and Training.
The low risk asbestos was discovered in a popular part of the playground late last year, but until last week, the school council had no indication from the department about when the asbestos would be removed.
That was until The Star contacted the department for comment last week and school council was then advised “technical experts” from the department would attend the school last weekend. They will now prepare a report.
The affected area, north of the school oval, has been cordoned off with temporary fencing, reducing the amount of shaded playground available to the school’s students to play.
With just shy of 400 children in the yard at lunchtime, there is already limited room for them to play.
School council president Mick Hughes said, “We’ve been led to believe it’s cheaper to fence it off than it is to remove it.
“There’s just a lack of enthusiasm to get the job done.”
Despite failing to treat Inverloch’s situation as a priority, a department spokesperson said, “Inverloch is the only school with work/monitoring currently under way” in Gippsland.
“Where asbestos is identified in soil, ongoing monitoring and assessment is required to determine the level of contamination and the appropriate approach to address the matter. The process of assessing soil with some identified asbestos can take a number of months and may require remediation. “
Mr Hughes suspected the asbestos may have been dumped many years ago and said it was not dangerous to children.
The contaminated soil is among native trees that provide vital shade for children in a relatively open playground.
“If they remove the top soil, they will kill the trees and there is no funding to repair it. We will have to do it ourselves,” Mr Hughes said.
Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=20727