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Byron Shire
August 1, 2021

Call for assistance with illegal asbestos dumping

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Asbestos found on public land at Exton Street, North Lismore on Tuesday, 12 June 2018. Photo supplied.

Information on the illegal dumping of asbestos is being sought by Lismore Council who have attended four separate instances of illegal dumping on public land involving asbestos sheeting since May 4.

Asbestos containing material is highly hazardous and is something that should always be handled with extreme care. It is predominantly found in building materials that were used in housing construction between 1940 and 1990.

Poor handling of asbestos can cause the release of asbestos fibres into the air, these fibres are around 50 to 200 times thinner than a human hair, can be invisible and can be easily breathed in. If they are breathed in they can become trapped deep in your lungs and cause damage over a long time.

Being exposed to asbestos increases the risk of developing cancers of the lungovary and larynx as well as mesothelioma (cancer of the lining of the lung). These cancers often develop decades after exposure to asbestos according to the Cancer Council.

The most recent asbestos dumping incident was attended by Lismore City Council on Tuesday, 12 June at Exton Street, North Lismore; where an estimated 1.5 – 2 tonnes of asbestos was found on public land. The sheeting found was of two distinct colours with some sheets painted brown and others painted cream. It was wrapped in black plastic and a blue tarp was also found at the site which is believed to have been used to cover the load during transportation of the material.

Lismore City Council’s Environmental Compliance Officer Stuart Thomson said, ‘These types of offences show a complete disregard for the health and safety of any person that may inadvertently come into contact with the material.’

Two distinct tyre marks were found at the scene of the dumping incident indicating that the vehicle used to dump the material was a small dual rear wheeled small tipper truck. 

Illegal dumping costs Council in the vicinity of approximately $100,000 each year in investigations, collection and disposal costs.

Public areas of illegal dumping:

  • Location 1: Tatham Road, South Gundurimba (yellow sheeting) between 4 and 5 May 2018
  • Location 2: Wyrallah Ferry Road, approximately 10 sheets of profiled asbestos sheeting similar to that used in the gable ends of houses between 30 and 31 May 2018.
  • Location 3: Bagotville Road, Broadwater. South of the Bagotville barrage. 460kgs of asbestos sheeting thought to have come from the demolition of a residential shed or wall cladding. Two different colours of sheeting found at the site, pink sheeting and cream sheeting.
  • Location 4: Exton Street, North Lismore. Between 2.30pm on Sunday, 10 June and 6.30am on Tuesday 12 June 2018.

 Illegally disposing of asbestos containing material is a criminal offence that carries significant fines.

If you have any information in relation to these incidents please phone Stuart Thomson 1300 87 83 87, all information will be treated as highly confidential.

Lismore City Council will investigate these matters until they have exhausted all lines of inquiry in an attempt to identify and prosecute the offender(s).

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