Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Business

Beyond the expected

Worksafe kiboshes NBN in Canberra

By johnboy - 13 June 2013 13

The ABC has the news we were waiting for that the NBN rollout in Canberra has been halted while they figure out what the contractors are messing with in Telstra’s asbestos raddled pits:

ACT work safety commissioner Mark McCabe says work in the Territory has been halted until a thorough management strategy has been reviewed and implemented.

He says Telstra must ensure community safety.

“Basically they have to establish that they’ve got a safe process for handling asbestos because look asbestos is all around us in the built environment,” he said.

It should be noted this risk is considered to be “very low”.

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
13 Responses to
Worksafe kiboshes NBN in Canberra
steveu 3:39 pm 14 Jun 13

I read this as saying then that Telstra havent satisfied ACT Worksafe that they have a management strategy in place to deal with people working in pits to ensure they are safe from any asbestos that may be there.

This is a worry as I thought pit maintenance/fault remedy work was done all the time by Telstra (or its contractors).

At the end of the day, I still think that Telstra should know what pits potentially have asbestos, and the fact they have shut down work (except in Gunghalin) seems like an admission that a process is not in place.

JC 5:13 pm 13 Jun 13

steveu said :

Im glad they are taking action, however is it silly of me to think that it would be a case of (1) NBN co contact telstra hotline to check pit is ok (2) get receipt number for the call and put with job form to show that its been verified safe by telstra (3) continue work.

Assuming telstra have a asbestos hotline number people can contact, which I am sure they do….dont they?

Maybe I am seeing things too simplistically.

I don’t think you quite understand what is going on. Telstra (through THEIR contractors) are doing the work on the pits before handing them over to NBN. So really at present this actually has nothing to do with NBN and is all to do with Telstra and their contractors. Once Telstra says their pits are ready then NBN moves in and does their thing.

JC 5:11 pm 13 Jun 13

Tony said :

It is a problem here – even in newer suburbs because, historically, the government authorised waste asbestos to be buried all over the place.
Out of sight, out of mind. Suck eggs, future, its your problem now.

What a silly comment. The topic at hand is the NBN rollout in Telstra pits. The newer suburbs like Gungahlin are fine, which is why work is continuing. The older suburbs some of the pits may contain asbestos and need to be handled properly thats where the work has been halted for the time being.

Now whilst I am not disputing what you say about the stuff being buried all over the place, because it is, in the context of NBN it is totally and utterly irrelevant.

c_c™ 5:02 pm 13 Jun 13

HiddenDragon said :

Mobile wireless is looking better and better for those of us not wishing to download the entire contents of the National Library and/or video-conference with the UN.

As soon as they sell off and someone sets up in the 700mhz spectrum, look out NBN.
I don’t quite believe the figures put out by either side predicting the number of customers who will trade in NBN for wireless, seems very conservative.

RadioVK said :

It’s been common knowledge in the industry for many years that most Telstra pits contain Asbestos. It’s not like Telstra has been keeping it a secret.

I don’t understand how anyone involved in the project can claim to be ignorant to the presence of Asbestos, or have failed to account for it.

ACT Government reports I’ve seen have warned that the telecom pits should always be presumed to have ACM.

steveu 3:49 pm 13 Jun 13

RadioVK said :

It’s been common knowledge in the industry for many years that most Telstra pits contain Asbestos. It’s not like Telstra has been keeping it a secret.

I don’t understand how anyone involved in the project can claim to be ignorant to the presence of Asbestos, or have failed to account for it.

Agreed. This seems like political pressure of some sort to put a go slow on NBN. or maybe something else but it just doesnt sound right to me.

I cannot believe for a minute that the cable planners at Telstra dont know what type of pit is where, or at least when it was installed and can track back. Im sure they knew it too when the public handed $11bn over for access to the pits etc. (which was a price ‘as new’ for the infrastructure btw).

bainbridge 3:20 pm 13 Jun 13

Does anyone know if this is a blanked ban on all NBN work? What about greenfields estates, surely there are no problems there?

What about connections to properties where the rollout on the street is complete?

RadioVK 2:53 pm 13 Jun 13

It’s been common knowledge in the industry for many years that most Telstra pits contain Asbestos. It’s not like Telstra has been keeping it a secret.

I don’t understand how anyone involved in the project can claim to be ignorant to the presence of Asbestos, or have failed to account for it.

Gungahlin Al 1:48 pm 13 Jun 13

When Telstra came out with their “we stopped using asbestos x years ago” comment, I thought hang on, wasn’t Palmerston was started before then?

The next day I got a call from a guy with inside info that indeed asbestos pits were used in Gungahlin.
Passed this on to Peter Elford in GCC who has regular contact with NBN Co.

So not surprised to see this halt on them going near any more old pits.

Note though that this is the only aspect of the NBN rollout that has stopped, as it states at the end of the article:
“A spokesman for NBN Co says installation work is continuing in Gungahlin and design work is ongoing for the rollout in Civic and Queanbeyan. He says the stoppage only applies to work being done in the Telstra pits.”

johnboy 1:33 pm 13 Jun 13

You’re still breathing in the fibres from the disturbed pits.

Not that googling mesothelioma on fibre will be a great comfort.

HiddenDragon 1:28 pm 13 Jun 13

Mobile wireless is looking better and better for those of us not wishing to download the entire contents of the National Library and/or video-conference with the UN.

Tony 1:11 pm 13 Jun 13

It is a problem here – even in newer suburbs because, historically, the government authorised waste asbestos to be buried all over the place.
Out of sight, out of mind. Suck eggs, future, its your problem now.

Rawhide Kid Part3 12:09 pm 13 Jun 13

I wouldn’t have thought this would hav been much of a problem here in the ACT except for the older suburbs .

steveu 11:43 am 13 Jun 13

Im glad they are taking action, however is it silly of me to think that it would be a case of (1) NBN co contact telstra hotline to check pit is ok (2) get receipt number for the call and put with job form to show that its been verified safe by telstra (3) continue work.

Assuming telstra have a asbestos hotline number people can contact, which I am sure they do….dont they?

Maybe I am seeing things too simplistically.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site