Asbestos in 52 local schools

MORE than 50 schools in the Bundaberg region have been confirmed to have some asbestos in them, according to the new Schools Asbestos Register published for the first time.

Minister for Education and Training Geoff Wilson was quick to call for calm and said parents did not need to panic.

“Like all asbestos products, it is only dangerous when damaged, and like all asbestos in poor condition, it will be programmed for removal,” he said.

Kylie Bishop, who has two children at Bundaberg Central State School, said she felt there were a number of factors to consider regarding asbestos.

“I’ve heard it can only hurt you if it is exposed. I think removing it will pose a greater risk to the kids and people around it,” Ms Bishop said.

But Melissa Collins, whose two children attend Bundaberg Central State School, called for the asbestos to be removed.

“I would like to get rid of the risk there is with asbestos there (in schools),” she said.

The asbestos in the 52 affected schools has been judged to be of minimal risk and stable if it is not disturbed.

Wide Bay P & C Association president Lorris Doessel said the matter of asbestos in schools was being addressed.

“I think people should check with their principals if there are any concerns,” she said.

Queensland P & C Association president Margaret Black reiterated the need for parents to speak with the principal if they had any worries.

“We were pleased to see that all of the asbestos roofs have been removed, but unfortunately asbestos is everywhere,” Ms Black said.

Al Wagner, Education Queensland deputy director general of infrastructure services, said removal had already began and since 2008, 93 asbestos roofs in the Wide-Bay Burnett region had been removed, as well as three asbestos-containing vinyl floors.

“Among other work yet to be scheduled at schools around Queensland, flooring containing asbestos will be removed from Bundaberg North School over the Christmas holidays,” he said.

Minister for Education and Training Geoff Wilson said the information contained in the register was not new and had previously been available on request from school principals.



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