State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery, will today move a Notice of Motion in the NSW Parliament calling on the Minister for Education to explain why asbestos remains exposed at Glendale Technology High School, 14 months after it was first discovered.
In February 2020, in-ground asbestos material was discovered in the school’s basketball courts and retaining walls. The area was immediately cordoned off and secured but nothing has happened since.
Last year Ms Hornery wrote to the Education Minister to seek the immediate remediation and containment of the site and in October the Minister finally responded to advise that work would be carried out over the Christmas/New Year school holidays.
The P&C and Education Asset Management Unit have both raised concerns about the ongoing degradation of the asbestos and have called for ongoing air monitoring of the site.
Ms Hornery will raise concerns about the length of time this matter has taken and the potential exposure to the health and safety of students, staff and the local community.
“The Minister is asleep at the wheel on this one. 14 months since this was reported and still the asbestos remains and still the school has to operate with a large section of their grounds unusable,” said Ms Hornery.
“This closure has significantly reduced the available outdoor sport and recreation space for the more than 850 students.
“We know that sport and outdoor activity during recess and lunch plays a vital role in the maintenance of students’ physical and mental health.
“Surely the Minister’s highest priority has to be the health, safety and well-being of the school and local community.
“So why is the asbestos still on site and why has nothing been done to fix the problem after 14 months?
“When it was discovered the school was ordered to close and cordon of the area immediately to ensure no risk to students, staff, or the local community.
“The NSW Department of Education Asset Management Unit has advised that the ongoing degradation of the asbestos poses a significant risk.
“The Minister needs to fix it and fix it immediately. 14 months is beyond a joke.
“Like the Minister said in a response to my letter, health and safety must be a priority, so let’s see you live up to your own words Minister,” Ms Hornery said.