Asbestos Contamination Warning

Published: 6 Jun 2018


The failed demolition of the Alcoa power station has potentially left Anglesea residents vulnerable to asbestos exposure.

The CFMEU is once again bewildered by the lack of care that WorkSafe have taken after the failed attempt to implode the Alcoa power station in Anglesea.

Two major demolition contractors on assessing this demolition both stated that due to the complexity and size of the structure that machine demolition wasn’t reasonably practical however using explosives is fraught with uncertainty and neither believed we have the expertise available in Australia for this type of demolition.

The OHS act is predicated on the tripartite approach between unions, WorkSafe and employers yet while WorkSafe was notified the unions were not. Our advice would have been that we do not have the expertise in Australia and that we would need to consult with international contractors.

We have in Australia explosives experts with mining backgrounds but there is a big difference between exploding earth to extract minerals and imploding buildings riddled with toxic waste.

What we are left with is a suspected toxic mess that has potentially left Anglesea residents vulnerable to asbestos exposure as it is near impossible when demolishing such a large structure to be sure all asbestos has been removed. Past decommissioning of such large power stations has proved this to be the case.

The CFMEU this morning reached out to WorkSafe to discuss our concerns over the suspected contamination but we are yet to hear back when this meeting will take place.