Asbestos report at Mackay West Primary School must be released

11 Nov 2010 11:37 AMJann Stuckey

11 November 2010

THE Bligh government was today accused of sitting on a report into asbestos handling at Mackay West Primary School.
During a visit to Mackay, LNP Shadow Minister for Public Works Jann Stuckey said Public Works Minister Robert Schwarten had ordered an independent inquiry into the removal of asbestos containing material “as a matter of urgency” back in February.
“Mr Schwarten told State Parliament he’d ordered an independent report as a matter of urgency …but nearly nine months later we’ve heard nothing,” Ms Stuckey said.
“Parents, students, teachers and ancillary staff deserve better.
Ms Stuckey said she remained concerned about claims by workers that they were not warned of asbestos at the school site and unacceptable treatment of a veteran class A asbestos removalist, Jayson Maskell-Drew when he made serious allegations about illegal practices for asbestos handling.

“Mackay City Council uses best practice for working with asbestos, and it’s a pity the State government doesn’t take a leaf out of their book instead of turning a blind eye to dangerous practices,” Mr Maskell-Drew said.

Member for Mirani Ted Malone said the spate of unsafe asbestos removal practices in Mackay schools showed the Code of Practice for the Safe Removal of Asbestos was being ignored by the Bligh Labor Government.

“Nearly twelve months have passed since work to remove asbestos in Mackay schools commenced and there is still no assurance from the Minister that unsafe practices won’t happen again,” Ms Stuckey said.

“Damaged asbestos containing materials are highly dangerous and this Bligh Labor Government has a responsibility to ensure that safe practices are being carried out.

“Mr Schwarten needs to release his report and tell Queenslanders what is being done to prevent these sloppy and illegal practices from continuing.”