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September 19, 2018

House drops and crumbles, exposing asbestos

WITH his house collapsing around him, Woolgoolga resident Ron Harris thought he was experiencing an earthquake.

After making sure his 14-year-old son was safe, he fully expected to go outside and see destruction.

But to Mr Harris’s surprise, his house was the only one affected. Heavy rain last week had drenched the ground, moving the piers and making the house drop more than a metre in seconds.

Making things even worse, Mr Harris was told he could not enter the structure to retrieve any possessions because asbestos had been exposed.

“It hit the deck in about five seconds flat. I heard a creak and then a rumble and the next minute it went bang to the ground,” Mr Harris said.

“Some piers came up through the floor. I’ve got a massive big coffee table and it had completely flipped upside down and in its place I saw this bulge – it was one of the piers.”

With the house his children grew up in gone, he will have to wait and see what can be salvaged, but he said the biggest losses were the Thumpster motorcycle his son spent a year saving for and a ride-on lawnmower he’d spent hours restoring.

The family has spent the first week couch-surfing with friends and have had some help from North Beaches Care, but Mr Harris will have to wait for structural engineers to finish assessing the house before knowing whether he can salvage anything.

Anyone who would like to help can email the Advocate on advocate@coffscoastadvocate.com.au.

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House drops and crumbles, exposing asbestos

Woman whose cancer was linked to asbestos died of ‘natural causes’

Woman whose cancer was linked to asbestos died of ‘natural causes’

Woman whose cancer was linked to asbestos died of ‘natural causes’

Woman whose cancer was linked to asbestos died of ‘natural causes’



First published


A WOMAN who suffered from cancer strongly linked to asbestos died despite avoiding exposure to it, an inquest heard.

Janet Binding, of Durland Close, New Milton, died on November 4 after contracting mesothelioma, a lung cancer usually caused by asbestos exposure. The 72-year-old had no occupational or family links to the substance, her husband Peter told the Winchester inquest.

She was admitted to Oakhaven Hospice in Lymington on October 15, Dr Frank McGinn said in a statement and died on November 4.

Senior central Hampshire coroner Grahame Short said there have been cases of “spontaneous” contraction of the disease and recorded a verdict of death by natural causes.

Original article: 

Woman whose cancer was linked to asbestos died of ‘natural causes’

Council to give asbestos DIY advice


Council to give asbestos DIY advice


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Do-it-yourself homeowners will be targeted by a new campaign aimed at encouraging the safe removal of building materials containing asbestos.

Christchurch City Council inspections and enforcement unit manager Anne Columbus said that in the past authorities had been reluctant to provide information to homeowners on how to safely remove asbestos because they did not want to encourage them to remove it themselves, but this was happening anyway because it was expensive to get professionals to remove it.

The joint agency Waste and Environmental Management Team (Wemt) set up to manage the mountain of waste generated by the quakes had now decided to change tack and were in the process of pulling together information for homeowners on how they could manage their own asbestos removal.

“The message now is if you are going to do it, do it the right way and do the right thing,” Columbus told the council’s environment committee.

She said a new dedicated website would go live where DIY people would be able to get detailed advice on how to remove asbestos safely and how to dispose of it. It was part of a new community education campaign supported by Worksafe New Zealand and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.

Cr David East said the problem was not just disposing of asbestos in building materials, but also disposing of soil contaminated with asbestos.

On the former Queen Elizabeth II site, for example, there were three or four large piles of asbestos-contaminated soil. Although it technically posed little risk to the community, there was a perception among nearby residents that it could pose a health hazard.

“What is the longer-term strategy for getting rid of contaminated soil? There must be thousands of cubic metres of it?” East said.

Environment Canterbury programme manager Don Chittock acknowledged the disposal of contaminated soil was an issue and said solutions were being sought.

“We have a meeting tomorrow with Transwaste [which operates the Kate Valley landfill] to discuss disposal options . . . we’re working with the industry to provide solutions,” Chittock said.

The environment committee decided to ask for more information on the removal and disposal of asbestos-contaminated soil. It also voted unanimously to ask the council to write to the minister of building innovation and employment in support of a ban on the importation of materials containing asbestos.


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See the article here:  

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