Castle Hill High Asbestos

By Bev Jordan

Allegations that positive reports of asbestos found at Castle Hill High School in 2016 were falsely reported to staff and the school community as negative are being investigated by the Department of Education and SafeWork NSW.

Remediation work was carried out four years later in 2020 despite concerns by staff.

Castle Hill MP Ray Williams (pictured) raised the issue publicly last week saying staff had been complaining for several years about white dust and fibres falling from the ceiling.

He met with teachers and parents from Castle Hill High on May 26th last month.

“During this meeting I was provided with information including a positive test for Asbestos which was undertaken at Castle Hill High School in 2016,” he said.

“Following this 2016 Asbestos test at Castle Hill High School, the school community was advised it was negative for Asbestos, when in fact it was positive.

“The teachers and parents believe the health of students, teachers and staff of Castle Hill High School has been severely compromised following years of exposure to Asbestos.”

He said they were calling for an “immediate independent asbestos test” of the school.

The asbestos register kept by the Department of Education Infrastructure recorded low levels of asbestos in several buildings and found Amosite (Brown ) and Crocidolite (blue asbestos) both considered a high priority for removal in the ceiling voids or insulation of several 1964 buildings including the music/tech applied studies building, and admin building.

A Department of Education spokesperson said: “The department is confident there are no current asbestos issues at the school. Remediation work at the school was completed in 2020 and 2021.

“ All air monitoring undertaken at the time returned results below or equal to the minimum detection limit (i.e. <0.01 fibres/mL).

“Testing was completed to ensure the areas were fully remediated and clearance certificates issued before the area was open to students and staff, in strict accordance with SafeWork NSW protocols.”

A spokesperson for SafeWork NSW confirmed that it was invited to Castle Hill High School in June 2020, after asbestos was identified.

“The impacted blocks were isolated from staff and students with encapsulation works completed in July 2020. SafeWork have visited the school on numerous occasions since this incident and are confident there are no current asbestos issues at the school.”

NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said she was made aware last month of allegations regarding mismanagement of asbestos in 2016 at Castle Hill High School.

“These are serious allegations that are the subject of investigation by both the Department of Education’s Professional and Ethical Standards unit and SafeWork NSW.”

Asbestos“These are serious allegations that are the subject of an investigation by both the Department of Education’s Professional and Ethical Standards unit and SafeWork NSW.” “These are serious allegations that are the subject of an investigation by both the Department of Education’s Professional and Ethical Standards unit and SafeWork NSW.”

“These are serious allegations that are the subject of an investigation by both the Department of Education’s Professional and Ethical Standards unit and SafeWork NSW.” “These are serious allegations that are the subject of an investigation by both the Department of Education’s Professional and Ethical Standards unit and SafeWork NSW.”

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