Byron Shire Council says that the discovery of further deposits of asbestos at the former Mullumbimby hospital site has delayed the final remediation of the property.
Council was expecting to have the property fully remediated by the end of 2019 but final sampling after the demolition and removal of the hospital buildings and contaminated soil showed asbestos beyond the building footprint.
Phillip Holloway, Director Infrastructure Services, said a NSW EPA accredited site auditor has been engaged to undertake a thorough investigation and provide recommendations regarding future remediation and management.
‘It is very disappointing because we were looking forward to getting on with redeveloping the site in keeping with the wishes of the community via the Mullumbimby Hospital Site Project Reference Group,’ he said.
‘We do not yet know the cost of this additional remediation or the long-term management options for this site but the community should be assured that there is no risk to public health.’
The site is fenced off, closed to the public and the contaminated area is contained. In mid-April Council will be covering the area with a geo-fabric material which will then be over-laid with clean fill.
Despite the asbestos discovery, planning for the site is continuing with staff working with one of Australia’s most innovative urban design consultants, to develop the land for a diverse range of community housing and associated community services.