Burdekin Shire Council is investigating the illegal dumping of asbestos sheeting at the Barrattas recently.
Burdekin Shire Council Governance and Local Laws Manager Dan Mulcahy said Council officers were advised of the illegally dumped hazard which was left on the side of Sayers Road.
“Not only is the person who dumped this asbestos risking getting a heavy fine, but they have also been exposed to dangerous asbestos fibres as the sheets had been broken into smaller pieces,” he said.
“Council officers cordoned off the area for public safety and Council’s Water and Waste Water Department quickly moved to safely remove the asbestos.
“It took a two-person crew 3½ hours to safely remove and dispose of asbestos at Kirknie Road Landfill – a costly exercise for our ratepayers.
“There were concerns that if not removed immediately, the public may have been exposed to asbestos fibres as the boards had been broken up.
“If it was left there, vegetation would have disguised it and there was a risk of roadside mowers or other machinery dispersing more asbestos fibres.”
Mr Mulcahy said there were strict procedures to follow when handling asbestos which reduced the risk of exposure to residents.
“Council is investigating this matter and will issue fines for dangerous rubbish dumping should the culprit be found,” he said.
“Sayers Road is within the catchment of the Barrattas creek system which drains into the Great Barrier Reef waters.
“Waste, such as this pile of asbestos, can affect the water quality in these ecologically sensitive areas and impact the fish and wildlife of the area,” he said.
Anyone with information about the illegal dumping can contact Council on 4783 9800.
For more information about handling asbestos responsibly, contact Council or visit the Queensland Government website http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/asbestos/index.htm