Media Report on Asbestos Incident

23 September 2020 Back to Newsroom

Greenfields Development Company (GDC) have been actively managing the asbestos incident north of Oran Park Town, outside of the existing residential subdivision.  

GDC provides the following information in relation to this incident.

  • Where? The incident reported in the media was an isolated incident north of the Oran Park development in a future residential area. The location of the stockpile is separate from any residential lot subdivision within Oran Park Town and was over 500m from a residential home at the time.
  • When? The incident was reported in November 2019 and immediate action was taken to make the area safe and process put in place to investigate.
  • What? The incident was found by Camden Council and reported to NSW Environment Protection Agency and Work Cover immediately. The investigation determined that asbestos-containing material (ACM) was delivered to site and was located in topsoil stockpiles.
  • Who? The site occupier was a local landscape supply business using the site to store nursery materials for his business. A variety of materials were being stored being bedding sand, topsoil, road base, sandstone and blue metal. The asbestos-containing material (ACM) was in topsoil stockpiles which was being processed for a turf underlay product for the nursery.
  • How? Unfortunately the site occupier purchased Virgin Excavated Natural Material (VENM) topsoil for his nursery operations and his supplier imported topsoil with pieces of demolition materials (included brick, tile, fibre board). Small pieces of ACM material was found being mixed up with the demolition material within the topsoil.
  • Does this affect me? The incident was located north of Oran Park development in a future residential area. At the time the incident was over 500m from any residential home. Once identified the site occupier was shut down, all works ceased and precautionary measures put in place to make the area safe. The investigation and audit revealed that small pieces of ACM material was imported in topsoil & stockpiled on site. The ACM material was bonded asbestos (non-friable) and sample testing confirmed that there was NIL asbestos fibres present in each of the stockpiles. Air monitoring results over two days showed the airborne fibres were less than the lower detection limit to the SafeWork NSW code of practice. Douglas Partners undertook an interim Occupational Risk Assessment and found the surrounding areas were safe for workers and the public.
  • Was turf underlay used on residential lots? No, absolutely not. In the development of a residential subdivision the land undergoes bulk earthworks to shape the land and as part of this process the natural topsoil is reused to level the lots. In most cases there is an excess of natural topsoil which is either reused or removed off site depending on the natural depths. Turf underlay is not used on residential land as there is plenty of natural topsoil on site (often too much) and we rely on natural seed in the topsoil to regrow the grass once complete. Turf underlay products are typically used where turf is rolled out & laid in verges and open space areas. For this reason there is no concern with any turf underlay being used on residential lots as natural topsoil is always used.
  • What’s next? From the beginning, GDC have been working with Camden Council and the EPA, the two regulatory authorities, on ensuring the site is safe and obtaining an approval for a Removal Strategy from the NSW EPA to remove the material to authority requirements. GDC have appointed Douglas Partners experts in dealing with these matters for advice and supervision of stockpile materials removal. This process continues under the supervision of Douglas Partners environmental scientist and the authorities are kept informed of the removal progress.

For any further enquiries, please contact the Sales Office on 9043 7500.