ACT News

Asbestos fears close Goodstart childcare centre in Aranda

The Goodstart Early Learning childcare centre in Aranda has been closed for a week after an asbestos risk was identified on Thursday night.

During a routine check to the building, which has asbestos in it, pinholes and nail holes were detected in the walls.

ACT Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe said there was no evidence there had been any asbestos exposure to people at the centre.

“They’ve had their monitoring done and there are no fibres in the air within the building and they’ve found no fibres within the precinct of where the children are playing,” he said. “So it’s all a precautionary measure at this stage.”

Mr McCabe said that, while the holes were considered very low risk, it was always best not to take any chances when it came to dealing with asbestos.

“They definitely did the right thing shutting it down and getting it repaired straight away.” 

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Parents were notified of the findings at 7pm on Thursday night and the centre was closed on Friday.

While the initial repairs to the walls had been completed, the centre would carry out further testing to the soil and outside the building as a precautionary measure over the coming week, during which time the centre would remain closed.

"WorkSafe is working with the centre, monitoring that they’re doing everything through all the proper channels and in accordance with territory laws," said Mr McCabe. "They’re doing exactly what they should be doing."

The scare came in the same week as the announcement that households affected by Canberra's deadly Mr Fluffy asbestos crisis would receive immediate financial assistance from the ACT government.

On Thursday ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said payments would cover the cost of emergency accommodation, food, clothing and remediation works. 

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