Lead-based paint was detected at the Bangalow Police Station residence.
Lead-based paint was detected at the Bangalow Police Station residence. Marc Stapelberg

House is a danger to family health

THE Bangalow police residence will undergo repairs after flaking lead-based paint was found throughout the property, despite the hazard being overlooked in an earlier audit.

The state of police properties across NSW came under fire recently when the Police Association of NSW (PANSW) revealed the NSW Police Force had identified a list of high-risk properties that contained lead paint and asbestos but failed to inform frontline police officers.

The alleged cover-up was exposed after PANSW got hold of a police force-commissioned report, conducted by Coffey Environmental consultants, which identified 210 hazardous material properties.

NSW Police Force Property Group Superintendent Darryl Tuck said in some cases, police structures were not identified as having hazardous materials because the asbestos or lead-based paint was in "hard-to-access areas."

But this was not the case for the Bangalow police residence.

"I cannot explain why but in some cases areas were not accessible," Supt Tuck said.

"But given this is the exterior of the building, it should have been easily accessed."

Former Bangalow police officer Senior Constable Stephen Hayward resided in the property until he retired this year.

Lead-based paint was detected at the residence during an inspection that was carried out when Snr Cst Hayward moved out.

"Testing revealed it was lead-based (and) the decision was made to re-paint," Supt Tuck said.

"The officer and his family will be provided with health services, which can involve a blood test and that is easily done."

The new Bangalow police officer and her family have been relocated to Mullumbimby while repairs are undertaken.



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