2020 February: Balmoral (NSW). Asbestos concerns after fire

Asbestos fears for Balmoral couple who survived NSW bushfires

February 20 2020


Debbie Padroth and her partner, Pete Richer, stared down a firestorm to save their home at Balmoral, south-west of Sydney, but two months are concerned about the safety of their drinking water from asbestos contamination.

The couple’s home was in the path of the massive Green Wattle Creek Fire as it tore through the Wingecarribee Shire on December 19, 2019.

Three of their neighbours who were evacuated lost their homes in the fire.

“It’s been raining — that is leaking into the creek system and the winds are blowing dust onto our property.”

“They both contained asbestos, there are asbestos contamination signs out the front of their yards and only one of the homes has been sprayed.”

Where contamination is found, and the property is close to where people are still living, the NSW Government has promised a PVC binder spray will be used to further minimise the risk of asbestos particles spreading.

Concerns about asbestos in their drinking water

More than two months on from the fires, Ms Padroth is concerned that the debris, dust and asbestos fibres, being blown around from the destroyed homes, has contaminated her water supply.

“Maybe the horse has already bolted, so I’m just wondering if we can get the water tested, because we don’t want to waste water — 60,000 litres of water.

“I don’t want to throw that out, but if I could get it tested, then it would be OK.