October 22, 2018

Pahlke calls for action on Ipswich's dangerous pits



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gully pits,


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Pahlke calls for action on Ipswich’s dangerous pits

CAMPAIGN: David Pahlke is on a mission to get asbestos in the region’s Telstra pits removed.
CAMPAIGN: David Pahlke is on a mission to get asbestos in the region’s Telstra pits removed. Rob Williams

ROSEWOOD Cr David Pahlke has called on Telstra to remove the asbestos from numerous pits scattered throughout the region.

Cr Pahlke said the asbestos was a threat to young children in particular.

He took the QT to a pit in Karrabin where the asbestos appeared to be flaking off one of the sheets.

“This is one of the pits that supposedly has asbestos in it,” Cr Pahlke said as he stared at asbestos sheets in the pit.

“I showed one of the general managers this pit and took him on a guided tour and showed him a lot of the pits.

“The bottom line is that kids being kids, they like to go on adventures and investigate.

“When they see something broken they like to break a bit off…and then they get into trouble.

“That is the worst thing you can do to asbestos. You just have to read the safety sheets on it.

“I just can’t believe that Telstra is abdicating their responsibility.

“If they can’t manage this, how are they going to manage the NBN?”

Earlier this year then Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten said that between 10 to 20% of the eight million Telstra pits in the nation were thought to have asbestos in them.

In that role he asked Telstra to prioritise the removal of the asbestos.

A Telstra spokesperson told The QT yesterday that asbestos was present in many of the older pits.

“Many of our pits installed prior to the 1980s do contain asbestos,” the spokesperson said.

“Left undisturbed these pits do not pose any danger to the public. If work is required on a pit that contains asbestos it is conducted by a technician who has been appropriately trained in safely handling asbestos.”

Cr Pahlke said he was concerned that the scores of pits that he has photographed in the Rosewood region were not more effectively barricaded.

“I understand that 30% of the pits have asbestos in them,” Cr Pahlke said.

“But all they do is put a gate around it.

“They don’t sign it and they don’t put safety barricading around it.”

Cr Pahlke has been bringing pit in disrepair to Telstra’s attention for three years.

“There are still some going back a couple of years that are not fixed,” he said.

“I want to see them repaired.”

Earlier this year Cr Pahlke took the QT on a tour of the pits where he pointed out the problem.

“They should have a service standard,” he said

“They have been slow to respond.”

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Pahlke calls for action on Ipswich's dangerous pits

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