Lake Macquarie City Council consults asbestos experts for remediation at Bernie Goodwin Memorial Park, Morisset

MAKEOVER: Work on the council's $1.4m makeover at Bernie Goodwin Memorial Park, in Morisset, have been slowed by an asbestos find. Picture: David Stewart
MAKEOVER: Work on the council's $1.4m makeover at Bernie Goodwin Memorial Park, in Morisset, have been slowed by an asbestos find. Picture: David Stewart

Temporary fencing will remain in place at Bernie Goodwin Memorial Park, in Morisset, as Lake Macquarie City Council consults on how to safely remove buried asbestos.

Council staff discovered asbestos below the surface while working on the $1.4-million upgrade of the venue.

The council works aim to transform the park into a recreation precinct including new playground equipment, outdoor fitness stations, and barbecues.

The asbestos was found during the digging of footings.

It's thought the asbestos had been illegally dumped at the park.

"The contamination discovered was below the surface, and is not considered to have presented a risk to public safety prior to the discovery," a spokesperson for the council said last month.

"However, as council is now aware of the contamination, all necessary steps are being taken to ensure the location is safe moving forward."

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Council's asset manager, Helen Plummer, this week reiterated the message the site did not pose a threat to locals, and that council was dealing with the issue.

"Following the discovery, all works on site were stopped immediately, the site secured, and investigations began to determine the level of contamination," Ms Plummer said.

"We are now working with qualified and trusted contamination consultants to develop a remediation strategy for the management of asbestos at the site.

"We want to assure the community the site is safe and it is being continually monitored."

Asbestos poses a potential risk to health if fibres are suspended in air and breathed into the lungs.

Temporary fencing would remain in place around the playground area while a remediation strategy for the site was finalised and implemented, she said.

Works to complete the barbecue area, however, were expected to be completed "in the short-term" and this section of the reserve, which was unaffected by contamination, would re-open to the community, a council spokesperson said.

"Further updates will be provided to the community as more information becomes available."

Council will soon erect signs on the fencing, and a newsletter will be distributed to local sporting and community groups, and delivered directly to households near the park.

The community can also stay up to date with the latest project information at lakemac.com.au/city/works/bernie-goodwin-memorial-park.

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