TWO derelict asbestos buildings in Huskisson are scheduled to be removed on Tuesday.
This follows a protracted campaign by local residents that has been running for almost three years.
David Rod, who represents Casisea Pty Ltd, the owner of the cottages, said builders were due on site tomorrow to begin the demolition.
The length of time it has taken to have the buildings removed contrasts starkly with the almost immediate response to the asbestos danger in Kiama after several homes were destroyed during the recent tornado.
Today, the site remains unsecured, with no fence in place in place to keep out vandals, who have progressively wrecked the buildings, scattering their asbestos cladding over the site.
A sign warning of the asbestos danger sits at the front of the block.
Shoalhaven City Council’s director of Development Services, Tim Fletcher, said Casisea Pty Ltd had given an undertaking to have the site cleared of asbestos by Friday.
“Our expectations is that work the work would be done by Friday,” he said.
“If it’s not done the matter is set to go back before the court, where court orders and costs will be sought by council.”
Mr Fletcher said the time taken to have the matter resolved was due to the changing ownership of the land and the fact the current owners were based overseas.
He said he was unaware the site had not been secured by a fence. “I haven’t looked at it recently,” he said.
Mr Fletcher said the quick Kiama cleanup was due to the co-operation of property owners.
Gary Kelson, chairman of the Huskisson Woollamia Community Voice, said residents were concerned by the lack of action so far.
“We had an onsite rally before the election which [Shoalhaven Mayor] Joanna Gash attended. She said then she couldn’t understand why it had taken so long to resolve the issue.
“We have continued to raise the issue and the response was always that it’s really difficult because there are overseas owners.
“We’re hopeful that with the time that’s already elapsed. We are most anxious that something is done – even if it’s to get some security of the site.”