Asbestos 'cover-up' hits ALP
THE State Government has come under fire for yet another report of asbestos mismanagement inside school gates.
Students at Townsville made a startling find when they discovered traces of the deadly material in their science kits.
The LNP has accused the government of attempting to cover up the incident.
Warwick is no stranger to asbestos scandals, with the potentially deadly material found scattered around Warwick West School at the start of last year.
As with this latest incident, there were allegations of a cover-up.
A whistleblower at the heart of the West School debacle accused authorities of attempting to hide the information from parents, only alerting them after rumours began circulating and parents withdrew their children from class.
Member for Southern Downs, Lawrence Springborg, said while he was not aware of all the finer details of the Townsville incident, he would be hugely concerned if it were true there was a deliberate cover-up.
When asked whether the allegations of mismanagement were a failure of the policy itself or its execution, Mr Springborg said the policy was not to blame.
He said the department's policy manual was so black and white "it looks like a zebra". He said the Warwick West debacle was the result of a failure to adhere to it.
"The manual is one of the clearest manuals anyone could read and the problem was departmental people didn't follow it," he said.
"It's so clear, a primary schooler could clearly understand it."
Mr Springborg said he had no doubt these kinds of claims would continue to arise in schools.
"It is inevitable there will be more incidents because that's what happens. It would be a brave man to say it was the last time an incident like this would happen," he said.
LNP shadow minister for eduction Dr Bruce Flegg slammed the Bligh government for "deliberately trying to hide the presence of asbestos in schools from parents".
"Why did the Bligh Government refuse to make a public statement about the discovery of asbestos in science kits?" he asked
"Labor is dangerously exposing our children to asbestos.
"It would seem Labor chose to keep the revelation under wraps to avoid adverse publicity."