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Connecting people & communities BERWICK

Incorporating South-East Star Real Estate

Thursday, 23 February, 2017

A Star News Group publication

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Berwick

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Thursday, 23

February, 2017

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Property Lift out

LARGE BLUE

Asbestos fears By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Mulch piles and building rubble in the Alira paddock metres from homes. 165072 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

Dust flies from Alira estate into the Weavens' backyard in late January. Picture: MARK WEAVEN

Residents, front, Jenni Weaven, Torven Weaven, Mark Weaven, Esben Weaven, Nehir Catak, Atlas Catak and Ismail Catak, and rear left to right, Neccla Yildiram, Recep Yiliram, Alan Sarkissian, Leah Prasser, Shezz Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS Ahmadi and Yunus Catak. 165072

A fragment of confirmed asbestos found in the Weavens' backyard during the works. Picture: MARK WEAVEN

were right in the thick of it.” The rubble in the paddock is believed to include a farm building demolished several years ago. “Everything was going through the mulcher and it was going everywhere,” Mr Weaven said. “There were huge dust clouds. It wasn’t just mulch flying out. It was 50 per cent dirt.” Neighbour Ismail Catak said one of his children was playing outside dur-

A WorkSafe spokeswoman said inspectors, who attended the site several times, were satisfied the work was in accordance with occupational health and safety laws. “WorkSafe will continue to monitor works at the site.” A City of Casey spokeswoman said the Council was aware of the residents’ concerns and the matter would be referred to the EPA and Worksafe as the responsible authorities.

ing the dust storm which “really worries me”. “I didn’t know about the asbestos.” Meanwhile, neighbours Neccla and Recep Yildiram say a swarm of wasps disturbed during the trees’ removal and observed chasing away a chainsaw-wielding contractor may have rehomed within the walls of their home. Ms Yildiram was treated at hospital for several hours on 19 February after her hand was stung several times by the angry wasps inside her home.

Moremac Property Group director Bryce Moore said all works were conducted according to strict occupational health and safety guidelines. “Any suggestion to the contrary is a bit of mischief-making.” Mr Moore said asbestos had been found in several areas on the estate bounded by Centre, Homestead and Greaves roads. It had been cleaned up, inspected and certified under EPA and WorkSafe requirements.

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Residents' fears of asbestos contamination at the proposed Alira residential estate in Berwick will be referred to the EPA and WorkSafe. Families believe their homes may have been showered in asbestos-laced dust, during excavation works on the site. But WorkSafe and the estate’s developer Moremac Property Group are adamant that asbestos had been removed from the estate according to occupational health and safety laws. Residents have been left pondering the health risks after, without warning, heavy machines kicked up a rubbleand-mulch dust-storm into their Bounty Way yards on a hot, windy day in late January. Over the following two weeks, excavators pushed down trees and disturbed partially-covered building rubble metres from their back fences, residents say. Mark Weaven, a resident, husband and father of two young sons, said a fragment that landed in his backyard during the works was formally confirmed as asbestos. According to the test report by Triple ABC on 15 February, the particle consisted of “unstable” or “damaged” chrysotile asbestos. The report recommended prompt removal of the debris. Mr Weaven said contractors had failed to dampen down and prevent the dust escaping during the works, nor warned residents of the presence of asbestos on the site prior to the works. “I’ve already had a near-death experience with cancer, so psychologically I know how fragile our lives are. “It may never come to pass, but we shouldn’t have been put at that sort of risk. “There were families and kids having a party on Australia Day. They

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News - Berwick - 23rd February 2017  
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