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Media Release

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13 November 2020

Lord Mayor urges NSW Premier to prioritise legacy asbestos issues

City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Bob Dwyer has called on the NSW Government to step up and fulfil its promise to address issues surrounding legacy asbestos as a matter of priority.

Ahead of National Asbestos Awareness Week, Cr Dwyer has written to the NSW Premier requesting urgent action on the recommendations of the 2017 NSW Ombudsman’s report into the state of asbestos management.

“It’s been three years and we still haven’t been told how the NSW Government plans to fund and implement the NSW Ombudsman’s recommendations,” Cr Dwyer said.

“The report identified the unacceptable and serious threat posed by legacy asbestos waste and made it clear that the NSW Government should bear the financial responsibility for addressing this issue.

“While the NSW Government agreed to the recommendations in principle, the public needs to know as a matter of priority how it intends to roll out and fund the management of asbestos legacy sites in NSW.”

The City of Parramatta has 30 identified James Hardie legacy sites within the Local Government area.

To date, Council has spent nearly $7 million of ratepayer funds treating public lands affected by James Hardie legacy waste, and expects to spend at least $6 million more in coming years.

“The City of Parramatta has been proactively addressing the issue of legacy asbestos in our Local Government Area since it came to light and is taking every precaution to ensure our community is kept safe from this potentially harmful material,” Cr Dwyer said.

“In recent years, Council has written to the NSW Government at least five times to raise the need for urgent attention to this issue. It is time for the NSW Premier to announce how she plans to deal with the issue permanently and put the minds of those communities heavily affected by asbestos at ease.”

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