Schwarten toxic schools shock

14 Jul 2010 4:55 PMJann Stuckey

14 July 2010

More shoddy workmanship involving toxic asbestos waste at Wulguru State School in Townsville proved Public Works Minister Robert Schwarten was not up to the job, the LNP said today.

Shadow Minister for Public Works Jann Stuckey said the admission students in Townsville may have been exposed to potentially deadly asbestos was yet another failure by Minister Schwarten to ensure Workplace Health and Safety guidelines were being observed.

“This latest asbestos misadventure is not an isolated case of a contractor accidentally disturbing asbestos in a school, it is a serial pattern of contractors not being monitored on this minister’s watch to ensure they are obeying the rules,” Ms Stuckey said.

“Minister Schwarten has been aware for months contractors have not been observing Workplace Health and Safety guidelines in schools and he still has not ensured they are monitored for compliance.

“Exposure to asbestos fibres carries unacceptable potential risk, yet this minister has presided over a constant stream of such incidents involving children in Queensland schools.

“It is too late to discover an asbestos incident after the event; this minister should be ensuring such incidents do not occur.

 “This from same minister who was dining high on the hog while Premier Bligh had to front the media to explain his failure to pay Queensland Health employees in full, on time or at all.

“It’s past time for Robert Schwarten to understand that being a minister is more than long five-star lunches, is more than blaming everyone else for your mistakes and inadequacies, it’s ultimately about accepting total responsibility for everything which happens in your portfolio.

“This minister is clearly not up to the job and it’s time for Anna Bligh to show some leadership and replace him with someone else who is.”

Media contact: Jann Stuckey 0439 755 919