RISKS from naturally-occurring asbestos would prevent at least one mother from bringing her children to enjoy Orange City Council’s planned sporting complex.
Joanne Tom addressed Tuesday’s council meeting to oppose rezoning 45 hectares on Priest Lane, east of the Northern Distributor Road, from rural residential to public recreation, saying studies in California showed residential proximity to naturally occurring asbestos was associated with mesothelioma risks.
“The WorkCover fact sheet says to postpone or restrict areas on windy days. Do you say don’t go there? Is this an area anyone wants to go to?” she said.
“We wouldn’t take our kids to play there.”
The areas with potential for naturally-occurring asbestos include the proposed car parks and the secondary sports field.
During the debate, councillor Neil Jones said he would not support a development application unless the matter was addressed.
“The threat is very real and we will need to give watertight guarantees so it assures the broader population of Orange, as we’re looking at something for the long-term future,” he said.
Planning and development policy committee chair and councillor Russell Turner said if the proposal had come to the council 10 years ago, he would agree.
“But we know the risks and concerns and we know how to handle it,” he said.
“We went through the process with the Macquarie Pipeline where we went through two or three areas with naturally-occurring asbestos and I don’t think there were any problems with that.”
Cr Jones also asked for general manager Garry Styles to continue efforts to gain frontage to Suma Park Dam.
“Once we have water frontage, it will become a significant regional recreational precinct where sports are an integral part,” he said.
After the meeting, sport and recreation committee chair Jason Hamling said other concerns raised about noise and traffic would be considered during the design process for the sporting fields, grandstands and access roads.
The site will be purchased once the NSW Department of Planning formally gazettes the rezoning.
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