Resident takes action after council fails to remove asbestos

Resident takes action after council fails to remove asbestos

Des Bowers said he was so concerned about asbestos pylons in East Cannington that he took matters into his own hands. Photograph - Aaron Van Rongen.

Frustrated by what he called a local government’s failure to remove asbestos pylons near an East Cannington bus stop, one resident took it upon himself to do something about it.

Des Bowers said he called the City of Canning in November regarding seven asbestos pylons on Elizabeth Street in East Cannington.

The pylons are on the edge of a vacant block at 10 Elizabeth Street, metres from a bus stop for a route which goes to Carousel Shopping Centre.

Mr Bowers said they were a danger to the public, as was the barbed wire wrapped around several of them.

“It’s a bus stop and children are going back to school this week,” he said.

In November the city inspected the site and requested the owner remove the poles by January 21.

Mr Bowers said the city had rejected his request for them to erect signage warning of the presence of asbestos, and he had been told to not place his own.

On January 26 – five days after the removal deadline – Mr Bowers decided enough was enough and placed plastic bags on the top of the pylons as well as warning posters.

He said he placed the bags to prevent any fibres flaking from the top of the pylons.

His warning signs were pictures of children playing in asbestos in Wittenoom in the 20th century.

“When people walk to school or through parks they deserve to have the information,” he said.

However, a nearby resident who introduced himself as Mark and who had lived on his property for 30 years said asbestos was common in the area, and the posts did not seem worthy of high priority action.

It was a view echoed by the City of Canning, which said the poles were about as hazardous as an unbroken asbestos fence as long as they remained intact.

The city said the poles appeared to have been there for about 50 years.

Canning chief executive Arthur Kyron said after the January deadline for removal was not met, a formal warning was given to the property owner to remove the poles by February 15.

“This is deemed a reasonable amount of time for this kind of request,” he said.

Mr Kyron said if the pylons remained after that time, the city would step in and have them removed.