Smoke shop in New South Wales closes due to asbestos contamination
New South Australia is investigating whether it’s the asbestos it bought from China that is causing the damage, which has shuttered the Smoke Shop in the town’s CBD for the day.
In a statement, the NSW Environment Department said the building was found to have a “significant” amount of asbestos contamination on its walls.
“This material is not a recognised health risk in New Zealand and was therefore removed,” it said.
It said the smoke shop was still operational and would reopen on Tuesday morning.
“The health and safety of our customers and staff are our top priorities and our asbestos remediation team will continue to work with NSW Government, industry and the Australian Government to ensure this asbestos material is removed as soon as possible,” the statement said.
“There are also further measures we are taking to address the issue of asbestos in our buildings.”
If this material is found to be a health risk, the building and its asbestos remedial team will be contacted.
“We will be working closely with the local government to ensure these actions are implemented safely.”
It said asbestos was not a listed hazardous material by the World Health Organization.
“All Australian building and asbestos remediations are conducted in accordance with applicable laws and regulations and, as such, we are not aware of any asbestos issues in New Zeland,” it added.
“Our team will monitor the situation closely.”
A spokeswoman for NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state had ordered a review of the plant’s operations.
“As we know, this is a very significant problem, particularly in an urban environment,” she said.
She said the Government was working with local authorities to ensure asbestos was removed as quickly as possible.
“It is important to note that all of our buildings in New England have asbestos-free walls, ceilings, flooring, and any other parts of the building that are not asbestos,” she told the ABC.
“However, we do not require our buildings to be asbestos-Free.”
The smoke shop, which opened in 2007, has been an open air smoke shop since the 1990s.
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