By Cam Lucadou-Wells
A developer has written to assure Berwick residents that a recent dust storm from its construction site was free from asbestos.
Moremac Property Group project director Martin Gaedke stated in a letter to residents adjoining the Alira estate that the dust was the result of tree clearing and mulching of trees.
“We are aware that there have been some concerns in respect to dust nuisance.
“We want to assure you that no materials other than the trees removed have passed through the mulcher.”
Mr Gaedke stated there were “small amounts” of asbestos-containing material detected in “various parts” of the Alira site.
It was found in fibre cement sheeting of former buildings and in illegally dumped building waste.
He wrote that the sites would be cleared, and any asbestos containing material would be carefully removed in accordance with Environment Protection Authority and WorkSafe regulations.
The EPA, WorkSafe and Casey officers inspected the contentious site on Ward Road on 22 February after residents complained in late January.
EPA southern metro manager Marleen Mathias has stated that it rated the risk to the community as low, and would monitor works at the site.
Casey Council manager community safety Caroline Bell, in a letter to residents, stated the EPA was satisfied with asbestos removal works to date.
Ms Bell stated the EPA would issue a Provisional Improvement Notice to the principal contractor to “formalise the works”.
Resident, husband and father Mark Weaven was sceptical whether the dust could be guaranteed as asbestos-free, especially after finding a positively-tested asbestos sample in his backyard during the works.
Mr Weaven said rubble on the site had been levelled during the works and could have been dispersed “everywhere”.
“And they’re trying to tell us none went through the mulcher?”
Mr Weaven said authorities had used letter-drops to “cover their arses” and “put it to bed as quickly as possible”, but hadn’t spoken to residents.
“They haven’t reviewed any of our evidence or contacted us personally – just sent out a blanket letter.
“They just want it to go away.”