Hotel owner's fears over asbestos
THE licensee of the Wallaville Hotel is worried asbestos in dust from a field across the road could be putting his staff and patrons in danger.
Bob Mackay, who has run the hotel for nine years, said the land used to be the site of a sugar mill.
I've been told that the mill closed down in 1975," he said.
"It was apparently later bulldozed.
"Back then they didn't worry too much about asbestos."
Mr Mackay said the wind was blowing dust from the field into the hotel.
"All those old sugar mills had asbestos," he said.
"The thing with asbestos is you can't see it."
Mr Mackay said he had 30 backpackers staying at the hotel.
"I just want people to be safe," he said.
Mr Mackay said the average age of the backpackers was 22 or 24.
"It could be 50 years before there's any bad effects," he said.
Mr Mackay said he planned to approach the State Government's Workplace Health and Safety authorities for an investigation.
Bundaberg Regional Council Division 3 councillor Wayne Honor confirmed the land had once been the site of what was called the Gin Gin Sugar Mill.
But he said the situation was out of the council's hands.
He said it was under the jurisdiction of the State Government's Environmental Protection Agency.
Cr Honor said he did not know what level of protection was in place when the mill was demolished.
"I'm uncertain how much asbestos was used in the mill," he said.
"I have no knowledge of how strict controls were then.
"I hope there was no breach of EPA controls because there's a township there."