Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), State, Industry Infrastructure, Tunnelling

Transport for NSW and Sydney Metro to further test for asbestos

Transport for NSW together with Sydney Metro is continuing to review and conduct targeted testing for asbestos at locations where landscaping work has been completed using recycled mulch products. 

Transport undertook independent testing of recycled mulch this week at the Prospect Highway project between Prospect and Blacktown. The contractor for this project is Fulton Hogan.

A total of 31 samples were taken at two landscaped sites across the project, with four of these returning positive results for traces of bonded asbestos.

The sites are fenced off to prevent any public access, and a remediation plan is being developed.

Sydney Metro contractor Systems Connect has also conducted targeted testing at five traction substation locations where recycled mulch was used in landscaping work last October. All five traction substations are not accessible to the public and are fenced.

Positive traces of bonded asbestos were identified at three of these Metro sites at Dulwich Hill, Canterbury and Campsie, while sites at Lakemba and Punchbowl did not return a positive result. 

All asbestos found at the landscaped sites is bonded asbestos which is considered low risk compared to friable asbestos.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has been notified of all positive results and are continuing their investigation into the source of the contamination at Rozelle and these locations.

Transport for NSW, Sydney Metro, Sydney Trains and contractors, are providing any assistance and information required by the EPA.  

Following notification to the EPA, Systems Connect is preparing a remediation plan to remove the material from the substations.

Further investigation on the West and Western Sydney Airport projects is being undertaken on the use of any recycled mulch on those project sites.