28 February 2024

Asbestos-contaminated mulch: three more businesses given the all-clear

| Claire Fenwicke
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cottage mulch

Bonded asbestos has been found in cottage mulch samples tested by WorkSafe ACT. Photo: Stonehenge Beltana Facebook.

WorkSafe ACT has confirmed three more businesses have been cleared from supplying cottage mulch potentially contaminated with bonded asbestos.

The Territory was first alerted that potentially contaminated mulch had made its way from Sydney to Canberra on 17 February before confirming it had been detected in supplies at Stonehenge Beltana in Pialligo.

It originally thought 12 retailers and suppliers had been sold the product, but that has been reduced to seven.

Green Options, Botanica Places and Rexley Landscaping have been struck off that list as of Tuesday (27 February).

Tracing of the mulch has continued, with 35 sites known to have received the product.

Of these, 27 have been tested and five have been booked for testing.

Bonded asbestos has been confirmed in six mulch samples, including in 70 cubic metres of product spread at a residential complex.

While 18 samples have tested negative, three more test results are due in the coming days.

Two commercial sites have assumed their product is contaminated and are doing their own remediation work with licensed asbestos assessors.

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Work Health and Safety Commissioner Jacqueline Agius said the test results were encouraging but remained cautious until more was known.

“I’d like to remind Canberrans again to please do not disturb, handle or dispose of any mulch until testing is completed and WorkSafe ACT has been in contact,” she said.

The risk to the community is considered to be low.

If you have concerns that you may have received potentially contaminated mulch from an identified supplier:

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