Blue Mountains council faces suspension over asbestos breaches

The Blue Mountains City Council has been issued with a formal notice of "intention to suspend" by the NSW Local Government Minister following allegations of serious asbestos safety breaches.

The suspension relates to 20 alleged breaches of asbestos rules.

The council has seven days to respond or face suspension, and a temporary administrator will be appointed.

Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton said she was concerned the council was not functioning effectively following the volume and scope of recent regulatory notices issued by SafeWork NSW and the Environment Protection Authority.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said the council-run Wentworth Falls pre-school had been closed and would remain so until it was safe for children to return. At other sites, SafeWork has ordered council to take immediate measures including exclusion zones to ensure safety.

So far, SafeWork inspectors have issued Blue Mountains City Council with notices in relation to asbestos discovered in:

  • a council-owned building operating as a pre-school at Wentworth Falls

  • large waste piles at the council depots at Lawson and Katoomba

  • buildings at Springwood council depot

  • leaf litter at the rear of the yard at a council-owned building operating as a pre-school in Katoomba

  • Lawson Library ceiling

  • the ceilings and walls at Warrimoo Citizens' Hall

  • the fireplace at Heatherbrae Cottage at Lawson

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