Posted by on 06 February, 2020

Despite an apology and admission of error, the Department of Education has improved its process to communicate developments in the Newcastle East Public School asbestos crisis to former members of the school community.


On Wednesday evening parents were supplied with the promised responses to over 50 questions that were received by the Department, but many were not answered at all.


Member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp has pointed to contact with former students, staff and school users as problematic, with many of these people reaching out to his office with concerns since news broke last Wednesday.


The Department was asked if former students, parents and staff had been notified, as well as if any school volunteers had been informed. The questions were not answered.


Previous advice that anyone with concerns can leave their details with the school was repeated, but Mr Crakanthorp said that this is not enough.


“The Department of Education admitted that communication was poor and resolved to do better, however they have fallen at the first hurdle,” he said.


“Due to no historic sampling or air monitoring, we have no way of knowing just how long friable asbestos exposure was a risk which makes this a very real concern for people who have formerly been part of this school.


“These people need assurance and support too, and the Department of Education needs to make this happen.”


In Parliament on Wednesday Mr Crakanthorp filed a Notice of Motion repeating his call to have all known asbestos removed from the school.

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