AUTHORITIES confirmed on Tuesday that suspect material found in a garden area of Wangaratta’s iconic Merriwa Park is asbestos.
But council has sought to re-assure the community that it is safe to use the vast majority of the park, which is still open to the public.
Rural City of Wangaratta gardeners recently came across fragments of asbestos within a section of the park near a sloping embankment at the rear of Ely Street and it will remain closed until the area is cleared.
Once the reports were made, the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) inspected the embankment and found construction and demolition waste that was tested and was shown to positively contain asbestos.
The asbestos was found on State Government land in the park which council manages.
EPA will issue remedial notices to the council, directing it remove the materials and to further investigate the extent of the contamination.
Council director of infrastructure services, Alan Clark, said the small pieces of asbestos found by gardeners appeared to be fragments of building material up to 50 years old.