Buried asbestos accusations levelled at developer

Date: Sep 27, 2013

A developer has been accused of burying asbestos from demolished buildings at a council golf course in Bowral.

John Uliana, who also sits as an independent on the Wingecarribee Shire Council, is alleged to have filled a hole in the golf course with asbestos from a torn-down clubhouse.

The accusations come from fellow independent councillor Garry Turland, who said in documents seen by The Sun-Herald that a former golf course superintendent corroborates the claims.

“During the course of construction of the hotel adjacent to the course by Councillor Uliana’s company, a number of older buildings were demolished,” Mr Turland wrote to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

“This involved the removal and treatment of asbestos.”

Former course superintendent Glen Wright told The Sun-Herald that he knew the location of the asbestos and that other staff had discussed the issue with him.

A lot of effort has gone into burying the asbestos and putting ground on top of it, Mr Wright claimed.

Mr Uliana refuted the claims, saying they were politically charged accusations from individuals who want to remove him from the council, which is delicately balanced.

“I welcome any investigation, they will find that what has happened here is political. Evil prospers when good men do nothing,” he stated.

ICAC response

According to The Sun-Herald, ICAC responded to councillor Turland stating it would perform an initial assessment, but noted that this may not result in an investigation.

Mr Uliana is the lessee of the golf course and was also accused in the documents of breaching the terms of this lease, as well as dumping waste from other buildings on the course.

The allegations further claim Wingecarribee Shire Council dealt with these issues privately, rather than through open council meetings.

Mr Uliana said he took on the lease reluctantly to ensure houses weren’t built on the course, adding that only a small amount of work is still to be completed under the lease, due to drainage issues.

Wingecarribee council said a small triangle of bonded asbestos fibrous cement was discovered by the greenkeeper’s shed following a complaint, with a company already engaged to prepare an asbestos remediation strategy as a precaution.

Asbestos exposure is linked to a variety of fatal diseases, including asbestosis and mesothelioma, both of which attack the lungs.

Mesothelioma, a rare cancer, has caused 10,000 deaths in Australia since the 1980s, according to figures from Asbestos.com, with an additional 25,000 deaths expected in the next 40 years.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.