Little Bay Beach Will Be Closed to the Public for Up to Two Weeks Following Asbestos Concerns
The popular eastern suburbs beach will remain open on weekends, though.
Randwick City Council has announced that Little Bay Beach will be out of bounds from Monday, April 26, with the spot closing on weekdays for up to a fortnight. The popular location will be shut to the public to enable a site inspection to take place, with materials containing asbestos found onsite over the past nine months. The inspection will help the council better understand the location, source and extent of the asbestos.
Asbestos was first discovered on the beach on Sunday, August 2, 2020. In the first week after the discovery, approximately 100 asbestos fragments were discovered, with that number growing to more than 1000 across the subsequent eight months. The continued discovery of new material containing asbestos suggests an ongoing source of contamination, potentially from nearby creek gullies containing old building material.
Over the two weeks, a detailed site investigation will take place, including the collection of soil samples. Those soil samples will be analysed and tested for asbestos in a laboratory, with the outcome of the testing made available via the Randwick Council website.
Since August, expert asbestos removalists have been inspecting the beach regularly to ensure it hasn't posed a risk to the general public, and signs were installed last year advising patrons not to touch any material that look like fibro sheeting.
The beach will still be open to the public over weekends, with the work only taking place Monday–Friday. So, if you're keen to go snorkelling in Sydney's eastern suburbs, or to escape the hustle-and-bustle of popular nearby beaches like Coogee and Maroubra, you'll be able to on a Saturday and Sunday.
While test pits will be dug during the week, the beach will be reinstated to its original condition before it reopens on weekends. The council advises that it'll endeavour to do the work will be done as quickly as possible, with the two-week time period incorporating time for possible delays due to weather or tidal movement.
Little Bay Beach, located at 4R Coast Hospital Road, Little Bay, will be closed for an asbestos investigation from Monday, April 26. For further details, visit the Randwick City Council website.
Published on April 22, 2021 by Ben Hansen