Otway Coast Committee

Committed to Sustainable Management

6th Jan. 2015 - Apollo Bay Foreshore – Possible Contamination

Apollo Bay Foreshore – Possible Contamination

On New Year's Day the OCC was informed that small pieces of cement sheeting material had been found around the outside of the Great Ocean Road side of the new playground.  The person who made the report to our local police believed the pieces were asbestos cement sheeting.  The local police advised the EPA and the OCC.  The OCC responded immediately by fencing the majority of the area around the outside of the playground and removed 6 pieces of sheet material about 20-40 mm square from in front of the playground area.

The following day (2/1/15), after discussion with the EPA, the fencing was improved.

About 2-3m3 of fill had been used across the front of the new playground edging to 'batter' it back to the natural ground level.  That fill had come from the contractor building the new car park behind the shops opposite.

The OCC and Golf Club both accepted the offer of free 'clean fill' from the contractor with the majority of the OCC portion used to top dress the Apollo Bay Common opposite the Apollo Bay Hotel.

Further investigation over the last few days revealed a small number of similar sized cement sheeting pieces at the common, currently occupied by the carnival.

In discussion with the carnival operator it was agreed that as a precaution the carnival would shift and the common area would be fenced and covered until testing confirmed if a contamination has occurred.

The EPA inspected the site on Tuesday (6/1/15) noting it was pleased with the work done by the OCC in response to the issue.  The EPA took some soil samples for testing and also the approximately 18 pieces collected by the OCC from all sites.  Results of those tests are expected within the next few days.

The OCC in collaboration with the Golf Club has engaged an occupational hygienist to undertake independent soil samples to assess if there is any soil contamination.

The results of the both tests will determine the next actions to be undertaken.

In short:

  • There is none of the suspect soil under the playground; only along the front edge that is now fenced and covered
  • All visible pieces of cement sheeting have been removed
  • All areas of concern have now been fenced and covered
  • The OCC is working closely with the EPA, Shire, Golf Club and Pony Club to ensure that a precautionary approach and public safety are the number one priority
  • To date, and until testing clarifies the situation, it is not known if the cement sheeting contains asbestos and if any of the soil is contaminated
  • The OCC considers this a serious matter and appreciates the community is understandably concerned
  • The OCC will keep the community informed of all developments

For more information contact the OCC on 0419 301 311.

Gary McPike: Executive Officer