Friday, January 18, 2008

Top ten questions about asbestos at Roberts Street, Northcote

Following yesterday's media reports of the tender fiasco and the generally tardy release of inadequate information about the Roberts Street public housing redevelopment, there are many questions still to be answered.

Here's my top ten, and an open invitation for housing minister, Dick Wynne, Northcote MP, Fiona Richardson, and the Office of Housing to respond. Any takers? Or don't we have a right to know?
  1. What further testing will be done before demolition, given that the asbestos auditor recommended this due to some areas being inaccessible at the time of sampling?

  2. Was the asbestos audit unduly limited by cost? How much was allowed?

  3. The tender documents indicate that not all asbestos will be removed before demolition, contrary to the audit's recommendation that this be done 'where practicable'. Is this the case and, if so, is it a question of minimising cost at the risk of health and safety?

  4. What will happen if, as seems likely, the $10,000 provision in the tender documents is insufficient for the safe removal of new asbestos on the site that has not been previously identified by the audit?

  5. Will the Government/Office of Housing immediately publish the successful tenderer's asbestos control plan and credentials for asbestos removal?

  6. What additional steps will be taken to prevent asbestos contamination of the adjacent park and children's playground?

  7. Who is the successful tenderer and the occupational hygienist who will monitor air quality during the removal (the tender closed yesterday)?

  8. Who in the Government/Office of Housing will be directly responsible for ensuring that the successful tenderer complies with the recommendations of the audit and the broader requirements for asbestos removal?

  9. Why was the release of the asbestos audit so badly delayed, and what steps will be taken to ensure the timely release of information from now on?

  10. What specific steps will now be taken to communicate with residents about the asbestos issue?

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