Fire and Rescue crews were today called to a HAZMAT incident involving asbestos in North Lismore.
Fire and Rescue crews were today called to a HAZMAT incident involving asbestos in North Lismore. Fire and Rescue Goonellabah

'Fibres are just going everywhere': asbestos dumpers slammed

COUNTLESS people have been put at risk by reckless handling of asbestos across the Lismore area.

And Lismore City Council wants you to help find those responsible.

Lismore City Council environmental compliance officer Stuart Thomson said four incidents of illegal asbestos dumping in the past month were putting staff and the public at risk.

"There's a definite risk to any members of the public,” Mr Thomson said.

"The majority of the time it's not wrapped and the fibres are just going everywhere.”

Mr Thomson said much of the dumped asbestos had been transported in uncovered loads, putting all at risk between the material's source and their destination.

He believed "unscrupulous operators” were responsible for the recent dumps, the most recent of which included 1.5-2 tonnes of asbestos found on public land on Exton St, North Lismore, earlier this week.

But he said the costs of proper asbestos removal - which should be conducted by licensed asbestos removal professionals for any amount greater than 10 square metres - was far less than the maximum penalties of $1 million for corporations and $250,000 for individuals for asbestos dumping.

"It's a hazardous waste,” Mr Thomson said.

"It's not a cheap process to get a licenced asbestos removal team in... but these guys are professional.”

He said home or business renovators could ask to see a company's asbestos removal licence before employing them.

Despite the recent spate of incidents, Mr Thomson said asbestos dumpings were thankfully "infrequent” in the Lismore area.

But he said they were still alarming.

Anyone with information about the recent incidents can contact Mr Thomson anonymously on 1300878387.