Power Park at the site of the old Howard power station on the Burrum River.
Power Park at the site of the old Howard power station on the Burrum River. Alistair Brightman

Bin removal due to vandalism, not asbestos

THE Department of Mines and Natural Resources has squashed fears of asbestos and arsenic contamination at Power Park after the council removed bins due to "safety concerns".

On Wednesday, the Fraser Coast Regional Council said bins at the park had been removed due to the concerns and ongoing costs caused by vandalism.

But the department said there was no risk to the public, with decontamination works having occurred after the demolition of the powerhouse between 2001 and 2003.

In 2008, the Queensland Government carried out an asbestos investigation at the site and found a small amount, and the materials were then removed.

"There is a secured contamination cell located at the northern boundary of the site," he said.

"This area is fenced off and clearly signposted as a waste disposal area to deter public access.

"The Queensland Government Environmental Management Register has determined that the site, except for the area within the fenced containment cell, would be suitable for parks."

The department said the council previously advised that it didn't want to manage the entire parcel of land, and had accepted only the road and boat ramp.

Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell said the council didn't want to take over the park, as it would become a liability.

The department claims it was told by the council in March 2014 the barbecue and toilet infrastructure was no longer needed.

The council advised the department there was "no need for the toilets to remain on site".

"It was also determined that the barbecue facilities should also be removed, as it would be expected by members of the public that there would be toilets in the proximity of other park facilities," the council wrote.

Cr O'Connell said it was damage to the barbecues that forced the council to advise the department.

"The barbecues got vandalised beyond usage," he said.