Australian eco-development faces asbestos abatement legal challenges

27 Jul 2017 by Sarah Mahan under News
507px Australia Victoria metropolitan Melbourne location map.svg  100x100 Australian eco development faces asbestos abatement legal challenges

Credit: Cassowary/Wikipedia

An asbestos abatement case is making its way to Australia’s Supreme Court, and while the dispute is being adjudicated, plans for a $2 billion eco-development are on hold.

The Age reports the parcel of land for a 2,500-home solar-powered suburb was once home to packaging company Amcor and contains more than 80 years’ worth of asbestos and paper manufacturing chemicals. When developer Glenvill agreed to buy the property from Amcor for $125 million, it was aware the area contained asbestos, but is now suing the company for not disclosing the extent of the contamination. In response, Amcor is suing the environmental engineer who it claims is responsible for not detecting all the asbestos.

The cleanup has already cost Glenvill $20 million, which is $6 million more than agreed in the contract between Amcor and Glenvill, and is likely to cost more than $40 million total.  ”We’re removing contamination that Amcor put there,” Daniel Aghion, who is representing Glenvill, said. “We’re not getting paid and we don’t have a proper appreciation of why.” The company warns that if they are not paid soon the work on the site will be put on hold. “Hundreds of buyers have already put down deposits on the two-thirds of uncontaminated land across the development,” the news source states.

Though much of the contamination has been cleaned on the nearly 41-acre site in Alphington, a suburb of Melbourne, the worst areas are still waiting for remediation from the contaminants, which are linked to serious health issues including cancers like mesothelioma.

Amcor declined to comment about ongoing legal procedures.

 

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