A Melbourne Council Confirmed It Found Mulch Contaminated With Asbestos In Its Park

A Melbourne council has reportedly found asbestos in its park. Again, more proof that if Sydney has something going on, our friends down south gotta jump on the bandwagon as well.

Jokes aside, Hobsons Bay Council confirmed the concerning news on Wednesday, sharing that “two pieces of compound material” from Donald McLean Reserve in Spotswood contained asbestos, per The Age.

The publication reported that sections of the reserve, such as the playground, have now been taped off from the public.

“The playground has been closed since Tuesday and council is working with the hygienist and the EPA to determine a management plan to ensure the safety of our community,” a spokesperson said, per the publication.

“There are two types of mulch used on the reserve – a recycled product around mature tree planting and a virgin soft mulch around the playground. The material was found in the recycled product.”

Redditor /u/tomasTTengin has claimed they were the one to sound the alarm over the contaminated material found at Spotswood’s Donald McLean Reserve.

“New Spotswood children’s playground has tanbark made of old building materials, including wood with nails and a suspicious piece of compound material. Reported to the council,” the Redditor wrote.

New Spotswood childrens playground has tanbark made of old building materials, including wood with nails and a suspicious piece of compound material. Reported to council.
byu/TomasTTEngin inmelbourne

According to The Age, the council has not confirmed if the contaminated materials were a part of the reserve or if it was dumped in the park.

The publication also reports that investigators from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and a specialist material hygienist hired by the council visited the park on Tuesday.

A spokesperson from the EPA said it’s “satisfied” with how Hobsons Bay Council are handling the situation.

“EPA is in contact with Hobsons Bay City Council over reports of mulch at Donald McLean Reserve in Spotswood that may possibly contain demolition building materials,” the spokesperson said.

The harrowing discovery comes weeks after multiple sites across Sydney — including parks, schools, hospitals and supermarkets — were discovered to have asbestos in their mulch.

In early February, Sydney’s Mardi Gras Fair Day was cancelled after asbestos was found in the mulch used at Victoria Park.

At the time, Sydney’s mayor Clover Moore described the cancellation of the pinnacle event as “incredibly disappointing.”

“This is an incredibly disappointing decision, as Fair Day is a pivotal part of the Mardi Gras calendar. But we have to put the safety of our community first,” said Moore.

In February a criminal investigation was launched due to the overwhelming amount of sites that tested positive for the material.

Asbestos was widely used across the building industry in Australia before it was banned. Per the NSW Government website, asbestos-containing materials were used in millions of Aussie homes up until the 1990s. Asbestos was banned back in 2009 due to its carcinogenic properties.

As much as we joke about the Sydney vs Melbourne rivalry, this is one state-of-origin match no one wants to win. Because who the hell wants to be known for the title: “most asbestos found”?

Image source: Disney / The Simpsons and Reddit / u/TomasTTEngin