Asbestos has been found on the oval at Graceville State Primary School.

Asbestos has been found on the oval at Graceville State Primary School.

Graceville State School students and staff will have to wait until investigations are complete to learn whether asbestos debris found on the school oval has put them at risk.

However Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek was quick to say he thought it was “unlikely”.

Speaking outside parliament on Thursday, Mr Langbroek said the site had been immediately closed off when the debris was discovered and air tests were currently being conducted.

“We have a strong series of protocols that we enact whenever these issues are raised,” Mr Langbroek said.

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“These protocols are being followed and the safety of students and their teachers and the whole school community is what we are committed to.”

A letter sent to student’s homes on Wednesday alerted parents to the discovery.

The debris was found during construction work at the school.

The state government has budgeted $40 million over two years to remove asbestos from Queensland schools.
But Mr Langbroek said the process would take time.

“It is obvious that when you have a very, very big capital works program – and we have a number of schools that were built pre the 1990s and we are having a lot of construction and a lot of maintenance – we are going to have these issues of asbestos being uncovered in some of the older sites,” Mr Langbroek said.

The state’s School’s Asbestos Register, which details areas in schools where asbestos has been identified, has more than 9000 pages.

Asbestos, left undisturbed, poses no danger.

Construction workers were hosing down the Graceville school’s oval on Thursday morning.

In her letter to parents, acting principal Catherine Waldron said access to the oval had been restricted.

‘‘Testing has confirmed that the debris contains asbestos,’’ she wrote.

‘‘Repairs and a professional clean are to be undertaken. The area will remain restricted until a clearance is provided for its reuse. These precautions will ensure that all students and staff are kept safely away from the area.’’

Regional education director Chris Rider said ‘‘tight processes’’ were in place around asbestos management at schools.

‘‘We find asbestos from time to time during construction work,’’ he told 612 ABC Brisbane.

‘‘We’re on top of this and in control of it … everything is perfectly safe at Graceville.’’

Authorities are conducting air and soil tests at the school.