Asbestos was commonly used in many building materials before the early 1980s because of its durability, fire resistance and insulating properties. Asbestos is a known carcinogen and inhalation of fibres is known to cause lung cancer, mesothlioma and asbestosis.  Asbestos, when disturbed, is hazardous.  Disturbance is generally caused by building works such as demolition or alterations. 

Reporting illegal dumping of asbestos

Council investigates complaints related to asbestos dumps on private land and public land.  Council has the power to investigate and serve notices for clean ups for asbestos dumped on private land. 

If you suspect asbestos material has been dumped in your vicinity, please contact Council’s Customer Service Centre and give details of the address. If you witness the incident please provide Council with the description of offender, time, location, and registration number of the vehicle.

You can report any concerns about dumped asbestos to Council on 9748 9999, email council@strathfield.nsw.gov.au or online customer request

Investigating complaints about asbestos on public property

  1. Where Council is in receipt of an enquiry/complaint or Council staff become aware of an asbestos dump in the street or other public place the following will be Council’s procedure for dealing with such complaints.
  2. Enquiry/complaint to be entered into Council’s records system
  3. Council officers receiving a complaint or becoming aware of an asbestos dump to advise their supervisor immediately.   
  4. Supervisor or their nominees are to investigate immediately and:
    • Quantify
    • Photograph
    • Identify the owner of the material or the party responsible for the incident or dumping, if possible.
  5. Staff are to wear the appropriate PPE when investigating enquiries/complaints regarding asbestos.
  6. Council to contact NSW Fire Brigade to secure the area if the asbestos is in a sensitive area such as a park, on a roadway or near a school or the environmental conditions (i.e. wind and or rain) may cause the material to spread.
  7. Manager or nominee to seek approval to have asbestos removed by licensed asbestos removalist contractor and disposed of at a waste centre that accepts asbestos. Council will require a receipt to confirm the asbestos was disposed of lawfully.
  8. Council will investigate the matter and undertake enforcement action against the responsible party when identified.
  9. Complainant and residents to be advised of outcome.

Investigating complaints about asbestos on private property

Where Council is in receipt of a complaint/enquiry regarding asbestos on private property the following will be Council’s procedure for dealing with such complaints.

  1. Enquiry/complaint to be registered in Council’s records system and forwarded to an planning and environmental health officer for immediate action.
  2. Council environmental health co-ordinator, in consultation with the Office of Environment & Heritage (OEH) and/or NSW WorkCover, make a determination if the material contains asbestos and if there is a risk to human health or the environment. Note: the fact that there is asbestos on site does not in itself constitute a risk, it depends on what is being done with the asbestos if it is not being disturbed.
  3. Staff are to wear the appropriate PPE when investigating enquiries/ complaints regarding asbestos. (Refer Section 6 National Occupational Health and Safety Committee [NOHSC] 2002)
  4. If there is a risk to human health or the environment, a short term notice may be served on the owner of the premises under Section 124 of the Local Government Act 1993 or a Clean–up notice may be served under Section 91 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.
  5. Council will ensure the asbestos is collected by a licensed asbestos removalist and disposed of only at a waste centre that accepts asbestos. Council will require a receipt to confirm the asbestos was disposed of lawfully.
  6. Information to be gathered for regulatory response, should include but not be limited to photographs, quantify m2, type (flat, corrugated), weather conditions (rain, wind etc) property owner’s details.
  7. If the building owner cannot be contacted and the asbestos is friable contact the NSW Fire Brigade to secure area and commence regulatory procedures to prevent any environmental or health damage.
  8. Complainant and residents to be advised of outcome.

 Further information

Additional information on Asbestos & Development in Strathfield Local Government Area.  

Further information on asbestos exposure, disease and research, go to the Bernie Banton Foundation website.