By Claire Ottaviano
RESIDENTS pushing for action on asbestos contaminated BMX jumps in South Guildford may soon have a resolution, with a proposed motion to fast-track new facilities added to the Swan Council agenda.
The Queens Road Arboretum track has been closed since October 2020 after asbestos was found in the track fill.
Swan chief executive Jeremy Edwards said the asbestos had been exposed over time by erosion.
“The track was designed and constructed with the assistance of local community members more than 20 years ago, and the origin of the fill is currently unknown,” he said.
Mr Edwards said the City was exploring options to rebuild a new track elsewhere in the arboretum with feedback on the preferred locations sought from users and residents as part of a community consultation, but did not confirm a timeframe.
Councillor Rashelle Predovnik will move a motion at the November council meeting to include funding for the new tracks and jumps in the 2022/23 budget and to request community consultation be completed no later than January 2022.
“I am raising this motion to support residents who have continually raised this issue and I applaud the efforts of the South Guildford Community Association (SGCA) for their advocacy,” she said.
“Ultimately, they want something done.
“They want assurances something will happen and that the City of Swan won’t just sit on its hands for the next 12 months.”
SGCA chairperson Shireen Watson said as well as the loss of the community asset, the association had real concerns for the health of the community.
“For the young people in this community it’s one of the only things for them to do,” she said.
“We don’t think we should be having this dust around, it needs to be cleaned up sooner rather than later.
“It’s a huge health risk because the original site is still there and it’s known that people have broken through the fence to use the track.”
Cr Predovnik said City staff assured her there was no risk to the community.
“City staff have been very helpful and they are well aware of community concerns about the asbestos,” she said.
“I was told their investigation found the asbestos fragments were in good condition and not breaking down and all visible fragments have been removed from the site.
“The current site will eventually need to be closed down because it’s likely to be too close to the proposed Kalamunda Road/Great Eastern Highway interchange project to operate as a BMX track.
“That interchange project is about two years away and I’ve been advised some form of remediation will happen to the existing track at a later stage.”