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Council act promptly on asbestos find

MEDIA RELEASE

May 29, 2002


Council act promptly on asbestos find

Auckland City Council has acted promptly to ensure public and worker safety after white asbestos was discovered during the refurbishment of the CPO building, part of the Britomart project.

When the asbestos was discovered in concrete between the building’s floor and ceiling level the whole building was immediately sealed to stop any contaminated material escaping into the atmosphere.

The project’s contractor Downer Construction notified council of the find immediately and is now working with council staff to guarantee both the safety of its workers and the public.

The chairman of the council’s Transport Committee, Cr Greg McKeown says the public can rest assured that none of the contaminated material has escaped from the site and that the council and contractors are doing everything to ensure the highest safety standards are adhered to.

“Our priority today is to ensure that this problem is dealt with thoroughly – public and contractor safety is our number one concern,” says Cr McKeown.

He says it is not uncommon for asbestos to be found in buildings the age of the CPO and the project budget had allowed a contingency for this sort of event.

Project leader Grant Kirby says it will take 4-6 weeks to deal with the problem and cost an estimated $1.2 million.

“I can give an assurance that Britomart will still be completed on time and within budget.”

Mr Kirby says while the CPO building is completely encapsulated as the asbestos is removed, work will be able to continue on refurbishment of the building’s exterior and on the rest of the Britomart construction which is one-third completed.

“All contaminated material needs to be bagged in a sealed container and taken to a designated ARC tip,” Mr Kirby says.

ENDS

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