ASBESTOS BLUE - $12,000 neighbourhood clean-up

By DAWN COHEN

A BALLINA home owner has had to fork out $12,000 for an asbestos clean-up in his neighbourhood.

He has also been fined $300 by Ballina Shire Council.

Doug Cameron, owner of the Bagot Place house, was fined after neighbours complained that their properties were sprayed with asbestos flakes after the house gutters ? made of an asbestos-rich compound ? were cleaned with a high- pressure hose.

The gutters contained asbestos dust and flakes which were dislodged through the cleaning process and ended up on neighbours' yards and homes.

Mr Cameron was ordered to employ licensed asbestos handlers to make his property asbestos free.

He also had to rehabilitate a neighbours' property by topdressing the garden.

The work cost about $12,000, a council spokesman said.

The matter was raised by Cr John Felsch at Ballina Shire Council on October 28.

Mr Cameron's house, like most of its neighbours, had asbestos fibro in its construction.

Asbestos fibro is linked with asbestosis and other potentially fatal lung diseases.

The law requires licensed professionals to remove asbestos following strict regulations.

Council fined Mr Cameron $300 and ordered the re- tired builder to employ licensed asbestos handlers to remove the gutters as well as the top 150mm of lawn.

Regulatory services group manager Rod Willis said the council was responding to complaints by neighbours.

"Our inspectors found that white flakes of asbestos had spread on to neighbouring residences, over a greenhouse, on to yards and into River Street," he said.

"Council has attended a similar situation with that property in the past."



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