Sunshine West cleared of asbestos


Hannah Hammoud

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given the all-clear to Fitzgerald Square Reserve in Sunshine West after mulch samples were tested for asbestos.

The EPA received a clearance certificate from an independent hygienist on April 14 for Fitzgerald Square Reserve, Sunshine West in Brimbank council area, with inspections showing the site was free of contamination.

Of the eight suspicious pieces of material collected from the reserve and sent for testing, only one tested positive for asbestos-containing material.

EPA officials were on site at the Callaway Boulevard reservation for the first time on April 9 to investigate and collect samples for priority testing.

The asbestos scandal began in neighboring Hobsons Bay, where mulch was found to contain bound asbestos in a number of reserves and parks, including Crofts Reserve, Hosken Reserve and Lynch Reserve, all in Altona North, as well as Burns Reserve, Altona and Donald McLean Reserve, Spotswood. Asbestos was also found at Merri-bek Council's Shore Reserve in Pascoe Vale South.

Tom Razmovski, Brimbank Council's acting director of infrastructure and urban services, said community safety was a priority for the council.

“…Council will continue to monitor and inspect its parks and reserves and act quickly to ensure public safety if contaminated material is found,” he said.

Mr Razmovski said that in addition to the council's regular inspections, visual inspections were also carried out at selected council sites including Green Gully Reserve and The Lakes Reserve.

Mr Razmovski said no evidence of foreign matter was found in the mulch at these sites.

“We primarily use tree chip mulch in our parks and reserves, which is made from Brimbank trees that have been pruned, removed or damaged by storms. These trees are collected and chopped locally and then stored at our depot for staff to pick up and use in parks,” he said.

“The majority of mulch used at council sites is supplied by the council, only a small proportion of mulch used in our parks and gardens is supplied by contractors.”

For more information about parks and reserves being investigated for possible asbestos contamination, visit