Asbestos at old hospital site
A FENCE has been built around the perimeter of the former Yeppoon Hospital site as Queensland Health admits the land is contaminated with asbestos.
Yesterday's revelations come more than 12 months after the hospital building was demolished.
It prompted Cr Bill Ludwig to lash out at the State Government for what he described as a "botched" demolition job.
In a statement yesterday, Queensland Health confirmed that discrete fragments of asbestos-containing material had been found after it engaged environmental consultants to assess the site.
It was unknown at the time of publication the exact date when this assessment took place, but The Morning Bulletin understands it was done recently.
However, Member for Keppel Paul Hoolihan, yesterday said he was informed those fragments originated from before the construction of the hospital in 1977.
He wanted to know if the material was left on the site from a previous demolition of a building, or whether it was put there.
Late last year Cr Ludwig found building rubble on the site and voiced his concern that Rockhampton Regional Council would be left with a costly clean-up bill once it was handed over to the council.
He said Queensland Health had been in denial that there was any contamination or rubble, until now.
Cr Ludwig said he found it strange the council was not allowed on the site until it was handed over, and because of this, the council's foreshore planning and development had come to a halt.
At a council meeting on Tuesday, Cr Ludwig asked Queensland Heath to provide the council with a full report of the level of contamination and work with it to ensure the site was fit for recreational use.
Cr Ludwig said the barrier fencing and advice that the department would rehabilitate the site was welcome news, but it should have honoured its obligations long ago.
"It is disappointing that it has taken so long to get Queensland Health and the State Government to finally do the right thing."
The Queensland Health spokesman said further work to the site would be done on the recommendation of asbestos experts and in consultation with the Department of Public Works.