COCKBURN Labor MLA Fran Logan has called for a large section of Woodman Point to be closed to the public after stumbling across a “shocking” asbestos contamination.
While taking part in a community clean-up at the popular beachside reserve on Saturday, Mr Logan strayed from the Len Graham picnic area and onto bush tracks where he found thousands of pieces of deadly blue asbestos spread over 100 metres.
The asbestos is most likely a remnant of bunkers used to house munitions during World War II and Mr Logan said he was deeply worried because of its age and poor condition.
“The asbestos has been broken into small pieces spread over a wide area,” Mr Logan told the Herald.
“If this is not addressed, come the dry, windy seasons, we will definitely get airborne fibres wafting across the park.
“These tracks are popular with walkers and kids.
“The department [parks and wildlife] should immediately block off access to the area with warnings about the asbestos presence.
“They then should begin a remediation process straight away.
“User groups of Woodie Point park, the Coogee Surf Life Saving Club and Coogee Progress Association should all be notified ASAP.”
Woodman Point was the site of WA’s first explosives storage facility, opened at the turn of the 20th century, and a network of disused railway lines run through the bush from the Coogee Beach cafe through to the marsupial enclosure south of Ammo Jetty, connecting about 30 of the bunkers.
Buildings used to conceal the ammunition from prying eyes were mainly dismantled, although there are a few crumbling examples left in the southern section of the park. They are fenced off with warnings about asbestos.
The parks and wildlife department said while it was aware of the asbestos in the remaining bunkers, it didn’t know about the asbestos Mr Logan had found lying on the ground.
“The department will investigated this latest report as a priority,” the department said in a statement.
“Asbestos is promptly removed when it is found where practicable.”
The statement said known sites of asbestos contamination were fenced off.
by STEVE GRANT