Pioneer Park Suspect Material

04 May 2021

Update: May 4, 2021

A SPECIALIST contractor will be working in Bright’s Pioneer Park this week to implement a long-term solution in an area impacted by asbestos fragments from a former landfill.

The site was temporarily closed when fragments of suspect material were discovered in late August 2019. 

Alpine Shire Council Director Assets Will Jeremy said the fragments of material were removed from site.

“A management plan now sees this area periodically inspected,” he said.

“Through the investigations which were carried out, it was determined that a section of the Wandi Walk is located on top of waste material, which is close to the surface.

“This coincides with the site where a number of fragments of asbestos-containing material were discovered.”

A geo-textile barrier layer and crushed rock will be put in place over the sections of trail (highlighted in red in the attached image).

“This will be followed up with a bitumen spray seal, creating a sealed multi-use path,” Mr Jeremy said.

Works are scheduled to start Wednesday, 5 May. It will take approximately five to six working days to carry out the geo-textile capping, after which the spray seal will be implemented. 

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Update: December 13, 2019

PIONEER PARK ASBESTOS UPDATE #5 | A section of Bright’s Pioneer Park has been reopened to public access this week, following a detailed surface inspection and the issue of clearance certificates for the site.

The site, situated on an historic landfill, has been closed since the discovery of suspect fragments of material in late August. The fragments were subsequently confirmed through laboratory testing to be asbestos-containing materials.

A licensed contractor has carried out a thorough surface inspection across the site, removed all evidence of asbestos-containing materials and issued Council with clearance certificates. 

Council continues to work with a specialist consultant to establish the most appropriate plan for the long-term management of the site. Whilst this plan is being established, a qualified contractor will continue to review the area at regular intervals.

Update: November 22, 2019

PIONEER PARK SUSPECT MATERIAL UPDATE #4 | An on-site assessment of the asbestos-affected area of Pioneer Park has recently been completed by a qualified contractor.

The presence of asbestos on the site has been confirmed. All fragments which were found were bonded asbestos sheet. There was no evidence identified of friable asbestos. 

Air sampling was conducted while the contractor was carrying out on-site testing. Presence of airborne asbestos did not reach detectable levels.

The concentrations were found to be higher towards the Wandi Walk side of the former landfill, and drop off towards the internal road.

The majority of the Wandi Walk was found to be constructed on natural ground. One section of the Wandi Walk was found to be constructed on waste material, which is located close to the surface, coinciding with the location where a number of fragments of asbestos containing materials have been discovered.

The consultant has provided preliminary feedback and is now working on the preparation of their investigation report, containing the detailed findings and recommendations.

Council has engaged a certified asbestos inspector to carry out a detailed surface examination across the full site, to safely remove any fragments of asbestos that are identified through this inspection, and to issue clearance certificates for the full site.

It is anticipated this work will be carried out early next month, and take approximately one day to complete.

We will keep the community informed on next steps.

Update: October 25, 2019

PIONEER PARK SUSPECT MATERIAL UPDATE #3 | A specialist contractor has been engaged to assess the site of asbestos contamination at Pioneer Park, and provide a remediation and management plan.

Work will begin on-site early next week. We will keep the community informed on the results of the assessment and plans for remediation of the site.

Update: September 6, 2019

PIONEER PARK SUSPECT MATERIAL UPDATE #2 | A licensed asbestos inspector visited Pioneer Park yesterday and carried out an inspection within and around the area that has been fenced off.

He inspected a number of different areas located outside of the section that has been fenced off by Council. This includes the pump track, which was closed by the Alpine Cycling Club as a precautionary measure.

In the areas inspected he did not find any suspect materials, or any of the usual indicators (e.g. broken bricks, other waste building materials) that might suggest a potential risk of asbestos contamination.

The areas inspected outside of Council’s fenced off area were:

  • The pump track.
  • The piles of material located alongside the internal sealed road from Coronation Avenue down to the closed off area.
  • Approximately 80m length of the Wandi Walk from the Morses Creek footbridge heading in a direction away from the equestrian area towards Dougherty’s Bridge.
  • The mountain bike trails located in the vicinity of the Morses Creek footbridge.

Based on the inspector’s preliminary report, we are confident that the pump track and trails located outside of the fenced off area are free from contamination, and have recommended that Alpine Cycling Club reopen the pump track.

The inspector removed a number of fragments of material from within the fenced off area which he believes are asbestos containing materials, including on the Wandi Walk, on the main access track running from the internal road down to the Morses Creek footbridge and around the drainage swale running in front of the large dirt mounds.

The inspector has recommended that this area remains closed off while an action plan is agreed and implemented. The inspector will consult with the EPA and WorkSafe before advising a recommended plan of further action.


Update: September 4, 2019

PIONEER PARK SUSPECT MATERIAL UPDATE | We have increased the size of the taped-off area at Pioneer Park as we await an inspection from a licensed asbestos inspector.

We are not aware of any suspect material having been found outside of the taped-off area. If any member of the public has concerns about materials located outside of this area, please contact Council immediately so that we can investigate.

We have a licenced asbestos inspector booked to inspect the site tomorrow (Thursday). The focus of this visit will be to verify that we have the area of potential concern appropriately captured, to log and collect any suspect materials to send for testing, and to advise us of a further plan of action.

Council has notified and sought advice from EPA Victoria, WorkSafe Victoria, DELWP, and the Australian Government Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency.

We have engaged with contractors who have recently carried out works in Pioneer Park, and with local residents who have knowledge of the historic landfill operations in Pioneer Park.

The Alpine Cycling Club took the precaution of taping off the newly constructed pump track last week, and we are supportive of their action.

We are confident that the newly constructed pump track sits well outside any area of potential concern and have confirmed that it was constructed from clean materials imported into the site. 

We will ensure the inspector covers this area tomorrow to with the hope that the club can confidently reopen the facility in the near future.

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September 2, 2019

Alpine Shire Council received a report from a member of the public last week about suspect fragments of waste material located between the equestrian area and Rotary Pines.

Director Assets Will Jeremy said Council, working with the Alpine Cycling Club, has closed the area as a precaution until a licensed inspector can make a thorough assessment.

“We have sought advice from a specialist consultant and on the basis of this advice we have cordoned off the area and installed advisory signage as a precaution,” he said.

“Given the proximity of some of the mountain bike trails, we contacted the Alpine Cycling Club and support their decision to close the pump track and nearby trails until more information is available.”

A licensed inspector will visit the site on Thursday to carry out a detailed inspection. Due to a limited availability of licensed inspectors, this was the earliest Council could book an inspection.

Mr Jeremy said Council will follow the advice of the inspector to determine next steps.

“We will keep Pioneer Park users and the broader community well-informed throughout this process,” he said.

“We understand the concerns of community members and will communicate further on Friday, once the inspection has taken place and we are in a better position understand the issue and what action is required.”

The following trails and walking tracks are closed until further assessment is undertaken:

  • Sections of the Wandi Walk
  • Rock Ya Shocks
  • The Highway
  • The newly built pump track

Council was made aware of the possibility of asbestos-containing material in the location where soil mounds had been established following works on the Pavilion construction in late-2017.

Mr Jeremy said at the time the mounds and immediate surrounds were inspected by Council officers, and through this process a number of fragments of suspect material were recovered from the location.

“Based on the very low levels of contamination that he observed, the inspector recommended sifting the soil mounds to separate out any larger solid material,” he said.

“Council followed this advice, and in a re-inspection by the same licensed inspector he advised that he had could not identify any asbestos material in the debris pile which had resulted from the sifting process.”

The area currently under investigation is broader than the area which was investigated and inspected in 2017.

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