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Select Committee Confirms Council’s Decision


MEDIA STATEMENT
7 June 2001

Select Committee Recommendation confirms Council’s Decision


Recommendations from the recent Local Government and Environmental Select Committee report for Manukau City Council to remove bulk asbestos containing material (ACM) from five properties comes two months after positive discussions and an agreement reached in principle between the Council and property owners for off-site remediation.

Manukau City Councillor and chairperson of the environmental management committee Noel Burnside says the Council has always been committed to finding the best solution for those properties owners and all of Manukau’s ratepayers.

“We are continuing to scope the necessary work with residents to determine how and when off-site remediation could occur. This should see the bulk ACM removed from properties to an approved landfill within the next construction season. It is not practicable for the required works to be carried out during the winter season,” says Cr. Burnside.

Cr. Burnside says Council has decided to assist Rakaia Rise residents with off-site remediation because of the unique character of the properties including the nature, extent and volume of bulk ACM and the need to remediate the properties concurrently.

Cr. Noel Burnside says the recommendation for central government to introduce national guidelines relating to contaminated sites is important but there should be compensation for monies already spent by the Council in achieving this.

“Council has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on an asbestos management control strategy because there were no national guidelines. This strategy has been supported by relevant Government agencies and community groups including the Department of Labour, Ministry of Housing, Ministry for the Environment, Housing NZ, key developers and representatives of the residents – all of whom were involved in the Flat Bush Steering Group,” says Cr. Burnside.

“Council has conducted many public meetings, set up a help line, visited sites where concerns have been raised, sought asbestos contamination reports from developers, investigated reports of contamination and identified land which may need investigation. It has advised other local authorities of contamination reports affecting them and has invited the public to provide information. We’ve spent an enormous amount of money on site surveys, soil sampling, analysis and air quality monitoring. We’ve done everything in our power to act reasonably and responsibly when there were no national guidelines available.

“In that regard I feel it would be appropriate for Government to reimburse Council a fair and reasonable portion of the costs we have incurred and in return we supply valuable information already collected to assist with the formulation of said guidelines – a win win situation for all,” says Cr. Burnside.

Manukau City Council has yet to receive a formal copy of the report from the select committee. Once received the report will be presented to the Strategic Management Committee on June 19 2001 for response.


Ends

Contact
Cr. Noel Burnside
Ph 278 5258
025 816 543

or

Gabrielle Hinton
Media Liaison
Corporate Communications
Manukau City Council
Phone: (09) 2628900 x 8650
Fax: (09) 2625759
Email: ghinton@manukau.govt.nz

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