AT A GLANCE

  • A Maryborough business has re-opened following an asbestos scare
  • Coffie Fixx was forced to close it's doors due to the affect the excavation of the asbestos
  • The business owners are pleading for better communication from the Fraser Coast Regional Council
  • Council said business owners have been kept in the loop regarding the asbestos 

 

UPDATE:

The Fraser Coast business forced to shut its doors after an asbestos scare has been given the approval to reopen - but still haven't heard a word from the Fraser Coast Regional Council.

Coffie Fixx is located on Adelaide Street, Maryborough, where construction on piping and footpaths came to a stop after asbestos was found under the business' driveway.

Coffie Fixx owner, Raylene Draper said they were given the approval from the asbestos specialist this morning following three nights of work.

"I spoke to the supervisor contractor this morning and they are going to open the footpath when we are ready to open," Mrs Draper said.

"The contractors ripped all the plastic off and unsealed everything for us.

"There is still no word from council at all, they had their mouths shut the whole time," she said.

Adelaide Street will remain under construction until the predicted completion date in late October, but owners are thankful they can at least open their doors for customers. 

EARLIER: Asbestos has been discovered under Adelaide St in the Maryborough CBD and it has caused havoc for business owners.

Coffie Fixx shop owners Raylene and Mick Draper have been forced to close their doors due to the affect the excavation of the asbestos has had on their business.

Initially the store planned to be closed from Monday September 19 until Saturday September 24 for the planned flood mitigation works, however the store remains shut.

Now the Drapers are pleading for better communication from the Fraser Coast Regional Council over the asbestos discovery.

Closed until further notice - Pleading for some empathy from the Fraser Coast Council, Raylene and Mick  Draper from Coffie Fixx in Adelaide Street, Maryborough, wait for answers on the discovery of asbestos outside their shop.
Closed until further notice - Pleading for some empathy from the Fraser Coast Council, Raylene and Mick Draper from Coffie Fixx in Adelaide Street, Maryborough, wait for answers on the discovery of asbestos outside their shop. Valerie Horton

At the time of print, 30 cubic metres of asbestos and surrounding dirt had been excavated from the streets of the Maryborough CBD during the week.

The Coffie Fixx owners have no certain date of reopening since the asbestos discovery.

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"Asbestos has been dug up ... I have spoken to the asbestos specialists who are removing it and they have been more than helpful," Mrs Draper said.

"Council and contractors haven't really kept us up to date with anything."

"We weren't really notified about anything that was happening, we sort of found out as we were coming backwards and forwards to the shop."

However the Fraser Coast Regional Council's Executive Manager of Infrastructure Delivery Ian Munro said business owners have been kept in the loop throughout the entire process.

"Businesses are sent an e-newsletter each Friday to keep them abreast of the project," he said.

"The e-newsletter outlines works to be undertaken in the coming week, changes to parking and other items such as the discovery of asbestos.

"The contractor and council representative on the project have been talking with the business owners in the project area daily.

"The businesses were also provided with a letter from the licensed asbestos removal company outlining the management plan and assuring them it was safe to operate their businesses."

Mr Munro said the council does not know when the asbestos was placed under the street and it served no purpose.

The Drapers believe the council has shown little empathy towards them as a small business which has no capability of opening properly because of the construction works.

"At first, it was like, yes we are all for small businesses, we will keep you informed if anything happens, but they have absolutely done nothing," Mrs Draper said.

"The only thing we have been getting is newsletters that every business in the vicinity gets.

"But anything directly affecting our shop which we have experienced now first-hand we haven't found that out until literally starting work."

The discovery of asbestos hits close to home for Mick Draper, whose step-father died from a form of asbestosis, so the possibility of exposure has them worried.

"That was one of my main concerns," Mr Draper said.

"I didn't want Raylene or our regular customers coming to our shop with the chance of something happening to them."

Mr Munro said residents and business owners should not be worried about exposure to asbestos.

"As long as the asbestos is covered and not disturbed it does not pose a risk," he said.

"The excavation work was immediately stopped and refilled.

Mr Munro said a licensed asbestos removal company was immediately contacted and a management plan put in place as well as an exclusion zone.

"Mr Draper still has access to his business from Adelaide Street," Mr Munro said.

"As part of the management plan, a hygienist is on site to undertake regular air sampling when the material is being extracted."

Both the owners were prepared to open their doors to customers again earlier this week on Monday but were unable to due to asbestos still needing to be removed.

"From the Thursday to the Monday night, when the actual guy came and tested the air, we had no idea how many spores were actually floating around in the air," Mrs Draper said.

As for Coffie Fixx, there is no way of making up for lost profits during this time of being forced to close their doors to customers.

"I think we will get through okay," Mrs Draper said.

"We believe that we probably won't get any (compensation) because council have left access for us to get to our building the entire time but we can't work here like this."



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