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Wed May 29 2024

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Lend Lease issues statement after failing to spot asbestos

23 Aug 12 Lend Lease has issued a statement confirming its commitment to environmental safeguards following the discovery of some asbestos in spoil shipped from one of its Australian sites.

The company has started the shipment of suitable spoil from Barangaroo to Port Kembla and the unloading of the first shipment of 16,000t. Stringent testing regimes were agreed with the government authorities as part of the licence process. Despite this, small pieces of fibro cement material containing bonded asbestos have been found at Port Kembla, said Lend Lease.

“Lend Lease takes its environmental responsibilities and obligations under all environmental laws very seriously,” said the company. The screening measures that are in place at Barangaroo South are more stringent than is required under the Government licensing obligations, which require independent testing by a National Association of Testing Authorities accredited laboratory.

In addition to these requirements, Lend Lease said that has implemented four separate stages of visual inspection and monitoring of excavated material by an on-site team of 25 qualified occupational hygienists and specialist asbestos removal contractors. It has also placed 22 static air monitors around the site and a further four air monitors on the ship, which have confirmed that no airborne asbestos fibres have been detected.

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Andrew Wilson, managing director of Barangaroo South said: "We have correctly followed all agreed procedures to spot and remove fibro from the Barangaroo South excavated material, including the additional testing and air monitoring measures. Despite this, some bonded pieces ranging in size from a coin to a mobile phone, have been identified at Port Kembla and were removed by a qualified hygienist in accordance with required standards. There has been no air borne asbestos identified."

He added that Lend Lease is very conscious of its environmental responsibilities and believes that its environmental practices are industry leading. "We will continue to work with the EPA and all regulatory authorities to ensure the best possible outcome as we clean up this site for New South Wales," he said.

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