Magnetic Island North Queensland
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March 12th 2008
Asbestos closes West Point track

The track is closed at West Point Townsville City Council has closed the track at West Point after pieces of broken fibro containing asbestos were exposed by the recent heavy rains in the area fronting the houses at the main settlement area.

The track is expected to be closed for several weeks as a safety precaution while a clean-up is organised.

West Point resident, Elena Timms discovered the asbestos and told Magnetic Times, "I was picking up rubbish for Clean-up Australia Day when I noticed the small pieces of asbestos on the road.

"I noticed it first on the road outside our place (at the western end of West Point) then I walked back along the track and there were small pieces going along for several hundred metres.

"The asbestos had been exposed since the heavy rain.

Some of the exposed asbestos pieces.

"I contacted the EPA (Environment Protection Agency) and Townsville City Council. TCC sent an employee out to to collect samples and it was confirmed yesterday that it was asbestos.

"At 5.30pm yesterday afternoon they sent an officer out to close the road," said Elena.

Elena is concerned about the material on the road as it poses what she believes is a serious health hazard to locals, tourists and all road users.

"Children play in the area where the asbestos has been exposed. No amount of money can compensate for the pain and suffering or possible loss of life should someone contract asbestosis. Asbestos fibres in the environment is like a time bomb," she said.

The road is closed where the track turns sharply to the left on entering the settlement. The track at the real of the settlement remains open.

Elena added, "If the action I have taken to notify TCC and EPA saves only one person from getting cancer I think I will have done our community a worthwhile service."
To add your comment, see below

Asbestos closes West Point track
March 13th 2008
Thank you Elena,this world needs more concerned people, just like you.
Margaret Sewell
March 13th 2008
Elena should get her facts straight about Asbestos before she has her knee jerk reactions. Asbestos is only hazardous if it is cut and the dust is in the air. While the pieces may need to be cleaned up for aesthetic purposes, I am sure there is no health risk and there is no reason for the road to be closed.
March 13th 2008
Maybe reaction has been a little excessive - but children do play with stuff they find on the beach and also enjoy breaking up stuff in sheet form which they find (watch any child who has discovered a sheet of bubblewrap!). It is perfectly possible that they could release asbestos dust while doing this.
Until this stuff has been cleared I would not take my grandkids to West Point. Closing the road is probably the only way to make sure parents etc. all hear about the problem - surprise, surprise, not everyone reads Magnetic Times!
Don Glasson
March 14th 2008
I hope when they clean up this lot they move on and clean up the broken sheets of asbestos in the creek at Horseshoe Bay that I have been pressing the authorities to deal with, for more than three years.
March 15th 2008
There's no chance that Margaret Sewell will have a knee jerk reaction because she is so sure she has her facts straight. So sure that, seemingly without even sighting the evidence, she knows that "there is no health risk" with broken bits of asbestos sheeting lying around on the West Point Track where of course they are driven over by cars and where of course someone's child, one day, will be playing around in the dust.
March 18th 2008
Well done and thank you Elena. That should give us some peace over Easter from those rotten tourists. Regards to Bill.

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