THE long-awaited introduction of a fluoridated water supply in Mulwala has hit a snag with the discovery of asbestos piping on the access road to the reservoir at the rear of the Yarrawonga- Mulwala Golf Club.
The Australian Defence Department is constructing a five megalitre tank for the dedicated water supply near its existing reservoir servicing the Thales explosives factory.
Asbestos piping was found underneath the only access road at the top of the hill behind the golf course during recent initial site preparation works.
The department confirmed works had been delayed while an asbestos removal company made the site safe.
“The asbestos will be removed over the next two weeks in accordance with the Model Code of Practice,” a department spokesperson said.
“An alternative access route to the site is awaiting formal defence approval which will allow site works to resume without any effect on the overall schedule.
“Works are still earmarked to be completed by June 30.
“Upon discovery of the asbestos, the contractor’s safety management plan was engaged and the site was cordoned off.
“All staff were removed from the area and there was no airborne exposure by any persons on site.
“Safety of defence staff and contractors is of paramount importance and all measures have been taken to ensure safety.”
Mulwala is the last of the Corowa Shire’s three major towns to have access to fluoridated water.
Corowa and Howlong were connected early last year.
The shire is one of the last municipalities in Australia to introduce fluoride following a divisive battle within council over many years.
It initially defied the pro-fluoride policy of the NSW government and other eminent bodies including the Australian Dental Association, the Australian Medical Association, the National Health and Medical Research Council and the World Health Organisation.
But three years ago the council relented with Mulwala dentist Dr John Charles also a strong supporter of the introduction of fluoride.