Asbestos found in Rocky's schools
ASBESTOS was found in all Rockhampton state schools, according to an Education Queensland report released this week.
The 3000-plus page report documents test results for every Queensland school including where the asbestos was found.
Public Works Minister Robert Schwarten said Queensland was the nation’s leader in the management, control and planned removal of asbestos and parents should not be alarmed.
“In-situ asbestos in good condition is safe when left undisturbed,” he said.
“The fact is, school students spend less than a quarter of their day in school and most students in the Rocky area would live in houses which have some form of asbestos.
“Confirmed or presumed asbestos is removed when practical – and is done so under strict removal protocols – when it does not endanger students, staff or parents. Removal takes places out of school hours, at weekends and during school holidays.
“My own father died with asbestosis so no one is more acutely aware of its danger than me but in reality it’s like a brown snake – if left alone it is unlikely to harm.”
Education and Training Minister Geoff Wilson said the online register was for the benefit of parents.
“This is the first time in Queensland this level of detailed information has been made available to parents online,” he said.
“It’s part of our commitment to increasing transparency and giving parents access to key information about our schools.”
Mr Wilson assured parents the department had “rigorous processes” in place to manage and contain asbestos, and the register would be updated quarterly.
“Any asbestos material classified as being in poor condition is made safe in accordance with industry standards and independently verified safe practices,” he said.
“Longer-term plans, such as removal, are then developed on a case-by-case basis.”
Mr Wilson also championed the Bligh Government’s management of asbestos with 919 roofs and 155 vinyl floors removed since July 2008 at a cost of more than $100 million.
“The management of asbestos, including identification and removal, is an ongoing process that will continue as part of the department’s capital works projects and school maintenance,” he said.
“We are also updating our identification and removal processes to allow for recent changes to the classification of a particular type of wall sheeting product that may have been used in some buildings constructed between around the 1960s to the early 1980s.”
The Department of Public Works is responsible for the management of asbestos in state schools and commenced a strategy to identify the material in all public buildings.
To view the asbestos register visit: www.education.qld.gov.au/asbestos.
Asbestos located in:
- Rockhampton North State High School
- Rockhampton North Special School
- Rockhampton State High School
- Rockhampton Special School
- Mt Archer State School
- Frenchville State School
- Allenstown State School
- Glenmore School of Distance Education
- Glenmore State High School
- Glenmore State School
- The Hall State School
- The Hall North State School
- Lakes Creek State School
- Park Avenue State School