More Sydney schools await asbestos test results

Claire Halliday
Claire Halliday

Three Sydney schools await results of asbestos testing as authorities confirm more contaminated sites have been confirmed.

Domremy College in Sydney’s inner-west is the fifth school in New South Wales (NSW) to confirm asbestos. The discovery follows testing being undertaken at a number of sites being after asbestos was found in mulch at Liverpool West Public School earlier this month.

The college remains open today, but the contaminated site has been isolated and cordoned off.

Three south-west Sydney schools waiting on results are:

  • Edmondson Park Public School
  • Mount Annan Christian College at Currans Hill
  • Trinity Catholic Primary School at Kemps Creek

“We understand this may be unsettling for these school communities but these results are expected later today,” NSW Environment Protection Agency (EPA) said in a statement on Monday, 19 February.

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In western Sydney’s Marsden Park, St Luke’s Catholic College has closed this week, while Orchard Hills’ Penrith Christian School remains open, with fencing protecting the contaminated site after asbestos finds at both schools were confirmed on Sunday.

Students at the still-closed Liverpool West school have been offered in-person learning at nearby Gulyangarri Public School.

The NSW Education Department secretary Murat Dizdar plans to visit the site today.

Asbestos contamination issues spreads beyond Sydney schools

Elsewhere across Sydney, several contaminated sites include an Aldi supermarket, Riverstone Sports Centre and an area of a shared path along the Parramatta Light Rail project at Telopea in Sydney’s north-west will also be contained today.

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To date, more than 40 sites including schools, hospitals and parks have been contaminated with asbestos contained inside recycled mulch.

The EPA continues to explore a complicated supply chain as part of its probe into how the mulch was contaminated.

EPA Chief Executive Tony Chappel said a full report will be made public.

NSW Premier says the end is in sight

With more than 90 per cent of the mulch identified as potentially containing asbestos already tested, NSW Premier Chris Minns said:

“We’re getting towards the end, so I don’t want people to think this is never-ending. We’ll get the systems in place to make sure that if there’s penalties imposed it’s not just the cost of doing business for these big companies.”

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Claire Halliday has an extensive career as a full-time writer - across book publishing, copywriting, podcasting and feature journalism - for more than 25 years. She lives in Melbourne with children, two border collies and a grumpy Burmese cat. Contact: claire.halliday[at]