Monday, March 10, 2008

Asbestos delay sparks new call for answers, public meeting

Last Friday's Office of Housing web announcement (bottom of page) that Roberts Street asbestos works would be delayed followed by just one day the 6 March letterbox update telling us that the works were to begin this week on Tuesday 11 March. The reason for the sudden turnaround? Apparently, there have been difficulties getting the electricity switched off on the site.

The delay provides an opportunity for the Office of Housing to heed the increasing community expressions of disquiet over the handling of asbestos on this site following last Wednesday's successful public meeting at Baden Morgan Reserve. The meeting called for a stop to the works until appropriate information is released and community concerns over asbestos have been resolved.

Despite the supposed problem with getting sparkies on-site to turn off the power, the delay will likely be brief, and so I have taken the opportunity to write again to Northcote MP Fiona Richardson and housing minister Richard Wynne to highlight the questions remaining (including the release of information), call for the stoppage, and suggest a public meeting at which asbestos issues can be openly discussed and questions answered before the works begin.

The letters, to be sent by email and fax Tuesday morning, are here in PDF format:

Tuesday 11 March 2008 letter to Fiona Richardson

Tuesday 11 March 2008 letter to Richard Wynne

I encourage everyone to write to these pollies themselves as soon as possible, and to encourage their friends to do the same. Further public action will be advised here.

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