Safety suit: Lismore City Hall operations manager Carl Johnson wears an asbestos suit while working in the roof area.
Safety suit: Lismore City Hall operations manager Carl Johnson wears an asbestos suit while working in the roof area. Jacklyn Wagner

Asbestos removal back on agenda

NORPA staff may soon be able to breathe safely in the knowledge that the deadly asbestos dust in the ceiling of Lismore City Hall has been removed.

After a plea to remove the dust was rejected by the Lismore City Council last month due to budgetary constraints, it looks likely remediation work could start soon after the council received larger than expected grants from the State Government.

“We are delighted,” NORPA general manager Delia O’Hara said yesterday. “It has concerned a lot of people.

“Fixing the asbestos problem means we would be able to go back to normal operations and save all the extra time and worry when we set up for a show.”

The proposal tops the Lismore council’s list of potential works after the State Government provided $120,200 more in grants for this financial year than it had previously indicated was available.

Also on the list is part-funding of an estuary management plan, sporting ground upgrades, putting development applications online, and a new tourism brochure.

In line with the council’s policy of improving the area’s roads, about $70,000 has been earmarked for them and $51,000 for general purposes.

How the money will be spent will be decided at tonight’s meeting, where council will also discuss how to divvy up almost $500,000 from the Federal Government’s latest round of funding under the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program.

Conditions on the funding means projects must be started within six months and completed by December next year. Road projects are not eligible.

A staff report to go to tonight’s meeting identifies three projects: Refurbishment of the dance studio at Lismore City Hall; refurbishment of facilities and amenities at Oakes Oval; and an access ramp at the rear of Lismore downtown library.

Councillors will also consider three ‘back-up’ projects: Stage two of Nesbitt Park redevelopment; stage two of the lighting of the western car park at Nimbin; and the rehabilitation of Nimbin’s Peace Park.

Ms O’Hara said the refurbishment of the dance studio would turn it into a flexible space, allowing local artists to stage experimental works at a low cost.

“There is no other venue for this in Lismore,” she said.

NORPA may also contribute to the refurbishment.



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