Westconnex approach to asbestos leaves many worried about safety risks

A large amount of asbestos has been found along the route of the widening of the old M4 which began between Parramatta and Homebush earlier this year. Meanwhile a massive amount of toxic waste is being trucked away from a contaminated dump at St Peters which Westconnex hopes to turn into a spaghetti style interchange. Literally, thousands of truck loads of this asbestos waste is being dumped on an open hill in Western Sydney.

But this is only the beginning. If Westconnex is allowed go ahead with its M4 and M5 tunnels, more than a thousand truck loads of soil, some of it contaminated, will have to be transported each day from construction sites down local roads and then major traffic routes. Although Westconnex has not told the public where it will be dumped, nearly all of it will end up in Western Sydney.

In this piece published yesterday in New Matilda, Wendy Bacon and Cathy Peters reveal that asbestos is already being dumped unsafely at Erskine Park while at Ashfield and St Peters preparatory development works are being allowed to continue without clear legal authority. This story should lead to deeper questioning about long-term safety risks for the community of the Westconnex proposal. If Westconnex is allowed to proceed, it could lead not only to more costly traffic congestion but also add to other waste, health and ecological problems.

Dry dusty site at St Peters landfill. September, 2015
Dry dusty site at St Peters landfill. September, 2015

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