Asbestos dumped at Bass Point, cameras to be installed in response

DIRTY DEEDS AT POINT: The load which included asbestos dumped at the Bass Point boat ramp this week. Picture: CAMERON GILBEY
DIRTY DEEDS AT POINT: The load which included asbestos dumped at the Bass Point boat ramp this week. Picture: CAMERON GILBEY

A Dapto resident has labelled as “stupidity” the actions of someone who dumped a load of asbestos-contaminated material near the boat ramp at Bass Point.

The dirty deed will now prompt Shellharbour City Council to set up video surveillance of the site, the city’s mayor said.

Cameron Gilbey found the dumped material and immediately reported it to the city council.

He said it was “grossly irresponsible” to dump the poison at such a place.

“Bass Point contains elements of bush, beach and ocean that create a visually spectacular environment of both land and sea,” Mr Gilbey said. “Dumping asbestos waste is particularly odious because it’s a health hazard to everyone who goes near it, and to dump it in a highly popular state reserve is stupidity.”

Bass Point

Bass Point

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said the asbestos was removed on Thursday morning, and said further action would be taken.

“A small amount of asbestos was located at the site, along with household rubbish,” she said. “Gates at Bass Point were locked immediately so there was no risk to the public.

“This is not common in Bass Point. In fact I believe it may be the first time at this location. 

“As a result council has spoken with the Regional Illegal Dumping Squad and The Environment Protection Authority.

“We believe that further attention needs to be placed here. Covert security cameras will be placed at this location to see if we can apprehend future offenders.”

Mr Gilbey suspected people illegally dump because they don’t want to pay the cost of waste disposal.

“Some may not understand, by breathing in asbestos fibres when removing the material, it could cost you your life, decades after the event. Passers-by the site where asbestos has been dumped may also inhale the fibres and could ultimately die. So all in all it’s not a particularly cheap option is it?

“If you are even remotely considering dumping asbestos waste and/or other non-domestic waste in places that you shouldn’t – don’t,” he said. “It isn’t worth getting a criminal record, being fined more than you could possibly ever afford and contracting an asbestos related disease. It is grossly irresponsible to endanger the health of others too.”