The discovery of lead dust has dealt Old Bus Depot Market stallholders in Kingston yet another blow with the opening of the site delayed for at least three months.
The revelation of the contaminated dust means the depot may not reopen until mid-May.
Lead particulates were found in surface dust during renovations and the dust was tested in February returning readings that were above the hazardous threshold.
Air monitoring tests were also conducted around the former depot but the level of lead in the atmosphere was below detectable thresholds at the end of January.
Old Bus Depot Market stallholders were informed of the situation on Thursday (11 February) and the markets will not open until after cleaning and remediation works are completed.
Access to the site has now been limited while specialist cleaners are brought in, Minister for Business and Better Regulation Tara Cheyne said.
“It is likely that the lead dust has been present with minimal disturbance at the Former Transport Depot for many years but may have been unsettled during recent construction activities,” she said.
“The facility will undergo cleaning and remediation prior to reopening to the public.”
The markets have been closed since early 2020 for $6.5 million of renovations and it was due to reopen in March this year.
The cost and exact timeframe of the cleaning are not yet known, but it is expected to take at least three months, Minister Cheyne said, pushing the opening of the depot back until mid-May at the earliest.