October 22, 2018

Asbestos scare at Chirnside Park

Should developers let residents know when asbestos is removed? Have your say below

He believed an underground watering system for the golf course used asbestos pipes, and was worried the large earth-moving equipment digging them up would fracture them and release asbestos particles.

The site abuts about 320 residential lots, with three schools – Chirnside Park Primary School, Lilydale West Primary School and Lilydale Heights Secondary College – 1km away.

Mr O’Brien sought an explanation from Yarra Ranges Council but was told to close his windows and doors if worried.

“These blue-clad respirated men are working 50m from some residents’ back fences. If what they are doing is so dangerous, why weren’t we warned?”

Cloverlea Chirnside Park spokesman Rob Weisz said asbestos was being safely removed from the underground drainage pipes from the golf course.

Work was being done in accordance with WorkSafe requirements with daily air monitoring, Mr Weisz said.

A year ago Yarra Ranges Council approved plans by developer CSR Ltd to build at least 550 houses on the former Chirnside Park Country Club site despite a bitter fight by residents to retain it as a golf course.

Edited letter from Barry O’Brien:

For many years we, the residents of Chirnside Park, fought an application by The Chirnside Park Country Club to have the golf course land rezoned so it could be developed as a housing estate.

This was despite the fact that when the suburb was first opened in the 1970s as a “golf course estate” the land in question was given to the residents by the developer as open space so the golf course could be created.

The land was then signed over by the residents to a newly created body, which became the Chirnside Park Country Club.

The title of the land was transferred from the residents to the CPCC and the land became private property.

The golf course was built and for many years residents enjoyed a wonderfully tranquil, almost rural environment, and the golfers enjoyed an attractive eighteen hole course. This was the “park” in Chirnside Park.

But seven years ago the committee of CPCC, with the aid of the developer, applied to the council to have the land rezoned residential. When the residents of Chirnside Park rose up in protest the council rejected the proposal.

While the residents were still celebrating the victory, the State Government overturned the council’s decision. Why or how the government decided to get involved is a mystery.

The government decided the park could be developed and sent the matter back to the council with suggestions for a string of amendments.
The new council voted and allowed the development to proceed. The destruction of the park began in August this year and for weeks we have listened to the ungodly scream of chainsaws and mulchers as the towering stands of trees come crashing down and are unceremoniously carted away as garden mulch.

Now it is a barren treeless waste with what appears no restrictions on the obliteration.

Last week men in blue chemical hazard suits with respirators appeared among the fallen trees and began using earth-moving equipment to reveal mysterious objects that had been buried underneath the fairways. These men are working 50m from some residents’ back fences. If what they are doing is so dangerous, why weren’t we warned?

Although residents are appreciative of the council’s efforts of saving baby ring-tailed possums, we have been betrayed from the very beginning of this sad saga.

The land which we bequeathed to the CPCC was sold from under us.
The State Government torpedoed the democratic rights of the then-council and eventually the new council and our own elected representatives turned on us.
We are currently searching for a word that adequately describes what has been done to us, but in the meantime the word “betrayed” will suffice.

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Asbestos scare at Chirnside Park

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