The remediation of the Mullumbimby Hospital site is continuing despite Council’s hopes that it would be finalised by the end of 2020.
The clearing and remediation of the site started in January 2019 and unfortunately it is taking much longer than first anticipated.
Phil Warner, Manager Assets and Projects, said the discovery of further deposits of asbestos beyond what was originally thought to be there, is the reason for the delay.
“This project is taking a lot more time than we thought but when it comes to asbestos we need to be very thorough,” Mr Warner said.
“We were doing the final sampling of the soil after the demolition and removal of the hospital buildings and contaminated soil was found beyond the footprint of the building.
“This resulted in more testing and the contaminated area was covered by geo-fabric and overlaid with soil so there is no cause for community concern relating to the health impact of the contamination,” he said.
“A NSW EPA-accredited site auditor and specialist consultants were engaged to provide recommendations regarding future management and remediation of the site and because of the complexity of the asbestos contamination, their work is still ongoing.
“We know the community is keen for things to start happening on the old hospital site but it is important that Council has a clear direction from the auditor and consultants about the way forward and we are hoping they will be providing their information in the next several months,” Mr Warner said.
In keeping with the recommendations of the Mullumbimby Hospital Site Project Reference Group it remains Council’s aim that the property is developed to include a range of community uses including housing and associated support services.
Council’s Place Planning team is continuing to work on this aspect of the project while the remediation is being finalised.