St Aidan’s Anglican Girls School Corinda Cleared on Possible Asbestos-Contaminated Compost

Concerns about possible asbestos-contaminated compost at the site of the Sport Performance Centre of St Aidan’s Anglican Girls School in Corinda have been laid to rest, as test samples from Ambiwerra have tested negative for asbestos. The school, in accordance with Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, has resumed all activity at the site.

Prior to this development, Queensland’s environmental authority had unveiled a worrying find: a small amount of asbestos was detected in a compost stockpile at NuGrow’s Ipswich site, one of the state’s leading disposal and recycling companies.

Immediate Action and Precautionary Measures

This led to immediate action, with affected areas such as a construction site at St. Aidan’s Anglican Girls School and a dog park in Greenbank being cordoned off for testing. These were the first public spaces to confront the potential danger of asbestos-contaminated soil.

Upon discovery, authorities took swift action to mitigate the risk. Workplace Health and Safety Queensland advised St Aidan’s that the soil used for landscaping its Sport Performance Centre might contain asbestos from NuGrow. In response, the school and other impacted businesses were directed to halt all material movement, initiating a rigorous testing process to assess the contamination level. 

Photo Credit: Google Maps

Queensland’s environmental authority is taking a precautionary measure due to a crisis of contaminated mulch affecting New South Wales.

Since then, the school has released the results of the investigation, giving its Ambiwerra site the “All Clear.”

Community and Environmental Impact

The potential presence of asbestos in public spaces has understandably alarmed the community. 

The spokeswoman for St Aidan’s reassured that the risk was very low, emphasising the school’s commitment to safety by notifying its community and taking immediate steps to isolate the affected area. 

Queensland’s environment authority and Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding have emphasized the low risk of harm and the extensive testing underway to ensure public safety.

Ongoing Investigations and Collaborative Efforts

As the investigation unfolds, the focus has broadened beyond the immediate sites to include a more comprehensive inspection of waste facilities and compost suppliers across South East Queensland. 

The Department of Environment & Workplace Health and Safety QLD are working to prevent further distribution of contaminated materials, addressing environmental health crises.

Published 3-March-2024. Updated 13-March-2024.