Users of a West Footscray dog park are calling for is immediate closure after an asbestos removal contractor found another piece of asbestos at the site.
Samples of material found at the Martin Reserve off-lead dog park sent by a park user for testing earlier this month returned a positive result for friable asbestos.
Council was first alerted to the suspected asbestos find in a pile of fill at Martin Reserve on April 8, three days after it was delivered to the site.
An officer surveyed the mounds and could not find asbestos, so the Council deemed there to be no risk to public safety and the soil was spread.
Two samples of soil taken for analysis later returned negative.
Star Weekly reported the positive asbestos result on April 23. The following day Maribyrnong Council sent an asbestos removal contractor to inspect Martin Reserve.
The contractor found another piece of asbestos, removing it from the fill that had been at the site for almost three weeks.
The find appeared to contradict council social media posts claiming the council “can confirm that no asbestos is present at Martin Reserve Dog Park”.
An occupational hygienist inspected the site on Wednesday and has taken underground samples for testing.
Asbestos in soil is a health risk if fibres can become airborne and inhaled.
Park users have raised concerns that the spreading of the fill across the site could have disturbed the volatile material and sent fibres into the surrounding air.
Nikki, the park user who found the first piece of asbestos and sent it for testing, said the council has failed in its duties since first being told of the find.
“Once I notified the council that I suspected asbestos was present they should have barricaded the area and not disturbed it any further until I obtained results of the testing, and they should have then engaged a consultant hygienist to do an investigation of the soil to determine the extent of the contamination and the type of asbestos present,” she said.
“The council should have an Asbestos Management Plan which outlines such a procedure. Only once the consultant verifies there is no asbestos present in the soil could they have got the contractor to spread it.”