Manuka Oval, located in Canberra, is set to undergo its first renovation in thirty years. The Oval was first constructed in 1924, and asbestos-covered irrigation pipes were inserted into the field in the 1970s.
The $35 million renovation plan involves increasing the number of permanent cricket pitches on the ground, constructing infrastructure for the spectators and erecting a new boundary fence. However the first and foremost task of this redevelopment plan is to remove the asbestos piping.
The asbestos was discovered before the commencement of the other projects, and is not expected to delay the rest of the renovation. David Dawes, director general of the economic development directorate, states that cautionary steps have been taken to ensure the safety of the workers and of the public. According to Dawes, “The contractor will ensure any asbestos pipe found will be dug up, bagged, sealed and removed by licensed specialists in accordance with approved quality control and environment management plans.” Further, Dawes assures it is unlikely that the pipes will be found directly beneath the playing area. It is expected that the initial stage of redevelopment – that is, the clean-up process – will be finished by the end of 2020.
Coffey Environments Australia Pty Ltd has conducted a study of the Oval. Their report reveals that the soil in the playing area is not likely have been contaminated by the toxic particles, and is considered suitable for re-use in other areas.
Many residents of Canberra have been affected by asbestos conditions in the past. Mesothelioma in Canberra and asbestosis in Canberra have impacted on many. The removal of asbestos from the Australian Capital Territory is important to try and ensure less people in the future in Canberra are not diagnosed with asbestos conditions.