Asbestos cover-up alleged

Councillor Bill Ludwig
Councillor Bill Ludwig

BILL Ludwig has accused the State Government of a cover-up after the Department of Public Works finally confirmed the scale of asbestos contamination on the prime foreshore redevelopment site in Yeppoon.

Just two days after Premier Anna Bligh announced $1.36 million in grants to help open up the former hospital grounds, public works director general Natalie MacDonald revealed the department was taking advice on how to deal with soil riddled with asbestos-containing materials.

Cr Ludwig yesterday called for an official inquiry into the way the matter had been handled over the past year by Queensland Health and the Department of Public Works amid concerns that children and concert-goers might have been exposed to health risks.

More than 2000 youngsters attended the Rudebox music festival on the site on Boxing Day last year.

He said the government had repeatedly denied asbestos was present and had allowed a concert to go ahead in the grounds even though there was only a thin layer of topsoil covering the potentially deadly material.

"There are absolute truckloads of rubble beneath the surface and there has quite literally been a cover-up.

"We have been misled over this issue at every turn and the state members have been asleep at the wheel," said Cr Ludwig yesterday.

"It is absolute nonsense to try to say now that this asbestos has just been discovered.

"Contractors were on site demolishing the old hospital a year ago.

"How can it be possible that workers didn't see anything when I was alerted by the community at that time?"

Cr Ludwig called for the entire site to be excavated so the contaminated material could be taken away.

He said Rockhampton Regional Council had waited a year for Queensland Health to hand over the site after demolition, but it was now clear why there had been such a delay.

But Member for Keppel Paul Hoolihan accused Cr Ludwig of creating fear and called on him to apologise for the "smears and innuendo" involved in a political campaign aimed at him.

"The concert he refers to was unlawful.

"Permission was sought to gain access to the site and was denied," he said.

"There has been no cover-up. The asbestos was buried and was not obvious during the demolition."

The Department of Public Works said it was also in discussion with the Department of Environment and Resource Management over what to do next, adding there was "minimal risk to people who accessed the site prior to demolition of the hospital because portions of fibro containing asbestos were buried".

A statement yesterday said undisturbed materials generally did not pose a health risk.

Topics:  asbestos bill ludwig redevelopment state government

Weeding in to Rocky's waterways

WATER WEIGHT: Michael Peacock spraying water weeds at Yeppen Lagoon.

WEEDS have taken over Rockhampton's water ways.

Two people transported after rollover on Dawson Highway

Ambulance generic

Two patients have been transported to the Biloela Hospital.

Local Partners

Cawarral teacher wins award

WHEN the students walk into Joanne Aaron's classroom they feel as if they are walking into a different part of the world.

Your chance to win

Learn More

WHAT'S ON: Your guide to entertainment and events this weekend

AWARD WINNING SHOW: Tequila Mockingbird can be seen at St Brednan's College, Yeppoon on Saturday.

LOOKING for something to do this weekend?

Garage Sale Trail finds treasure in trash

Richard Morvell from Trendy Trash Rockhampton, Cr Neil Fisher, and Craig Dunglison, Manager of Rockhampton Regional Waste and Recycling gear up for Garage Sale Trail.

Bargains galore on offer at garage sales this weekend

GARAGE SALE GUIDE: Find out where to grab the best bargains

Several sales are being held in Rockhampton on Saturday as part of the national Garage Sale Trail.

Your guide to the Garage Sale Trail in Rockhampton

Selma Blair blames flight outburst on 'psychotic blackout'

Selma Blair

"I am someone who should never drink, and I rarely do"

Bob Dylan acknowledges Nobel Prize win

Bob Dylan has finally acknowledged his Nobel Prize win

WATCH: Trailer for Jackman's final Wolverine film released

First trailer for the last Wolverine film with Hugh Jackman.

Thrilling trailer promises a dark, dystopian finale for Wolverine

CCTV footage surfaces of Kim Kardashian West's robbers

The blurry footage shows three men on bikes and two on foot

Cathriona White's mother claims to have Jim Carrey's results

Jim Carrey and late ex-girlfriend Cathriona White

SHE claims Carrey exposed White to herpes, chlamydia, Hepatitis A

The Koi Boys are back with more covers and original songs

Former Voice contestants The Koi Boys have signed with Universal Music.

THE Voice favourites release their debut album today.

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge

SEQ is the 'greatest market': property guru John McGrath

SPEAKER: John McGrath of McGrath Estate Agents is today's guest speaker at the Better Business Breakfast.

SEQ is the "greatest" real estate market, says property guru.