Asbestos contamination Sydney: Liverpool West Public School shut down for weeks, Garden mulch containing asbestos

A primary school will shut down for weeks after an asbestos contamination was determined to be far more extensive than first anticipated.

At least 22 sites across the city have been confirmed as part of a widespread garden mulch contamination with the deadly material, according to The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

Liverpool West Public School in Sydney’s west closed for two days at the start of the week when asbestos was found in garden mulch but will likely closed for a lot longer as clean-up efforts drag on.

NSW’s Education Minister Prue Carr on Wednesday revealed the closure would be extended for a number of weeks for more extensive remediation work needed to clear the contaminated mulch.

“The school site will continue to be closed for a number of weeks until it is fully cleared,” she said.

Children will be relocated to Gulyangarri Public School to undertake schooling for the next few weeks.

“The NSW Government understands how frustrating this must be for parents and teachers at the school and I assure you the decision to temporarily close the school site was not taken lightly,” Ms Car said.

“We are acting with an abundance of caution and doing so quickly to ensure the safety of the school community.”

The Department communicated with families on Wednesday about the next steps in the clean-up process and have been informed there is a low risk.

They said they have been assured it is the only school affected by contamination.

Three additional locations have been found to contain bonded asbestos as of Wednesday and the EPA is working with the owners of these sites to ensure they are secured and present little risk to the public.

The school shutdown comes on the same day as Mardi Gras organisers announced they have been forced to cancel their annual Fair Day event at Victoria Park after contaminated mulch was found late last week.

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