The department is leading a coordinated state government approach to manage asbestos in Wittenoom. Recent actions include:
2006: The State government engaged environmental consultants GHD/Parsons Brinckerhoff to undertake an assessment of the extent of asbestos contamination in the Wittenoom location.
2008: The Department of Environment and Conservation classified the area as contaminated- remediation required under the Contaminated Sites Act 2003. They also placed memorials against all certificates of title for properties in Wittenoom.
2010: The Department of Regional Development and Lands (RDL), commissioned an ethnographic and archaeological study of the Wittenoom area to ascertain the significance of the area and heritage sites to Aboriginal people.
2011: A technical workshop was convened by RDL to develop a priority ranking of the seven identified Wittenoom sites and to assess remediation/management options for each of the identified sites.
2012: RDL reconvened the Wittenoom Steering Committee requesting required agencies to nominate a designated staff member to the project.
2013: RDL held the first Wittenoom Steering Committee on 23 April 2013.
2013: The former Department of Lands engaged environmental consultants GHD to undertake feasibility studies on the preferred remediation options for the three highest risk sites at Wittenoom, including; Wittenoom Mine, Colonial Mine and the Wittenoom Gorge.
2013 to present: The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage is currently working with relevant agencies and stakeholders to raise awareness of the risks posed by Wittenoom to the general public and local Aboriginal people and assess long term solutions for the management of the area.
In December 2012, the Department of Regional Development and Lands reconvened the Wittenoom Steering Committee. The objectives of the committee are to:
- co-ordinate the resolution of issues concerning the residual asbestos in and around the Wittenoom town site including:
a) The complete closure of the town of Wittenoom;
b) Management of the existing sites contaminated with asbestos and tailings, and the standards for remediation;
c) Minimising the public health and safety risks of asbestos fibres to the traditional owners, and the general public; and
d) To develop and implement an across government communications strategy on the Wittenoom asbestos issues.
- facilitate informed decisions by government departments, agencies and officers in relation to matters affecting Wittenoom and ensuring that, in so far as is consistent with statutory and regulatory obligations, decisions are made in a manner which have proper regard to public health and safety considerations and government strategy as to the future of Wittenoom
- provide co-ordinated advice to Government on the resolution of these issues including advice to Cabinet, as required.
The Wittenoom Steering Committee is made up of senior representatives appointed by each of the following government agencies:
- Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (Chair)
- Department of Premier and Cabinet
- Department of Health
- Department of Water and Environmental Regulation
- Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (Mine Safety and Worksafe)
- Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation
- The Shire of Ashburton.
Guests may be invited as required.
There are many beautiful destinations in the Pilbara to visit including:
Karijini National Park
Karijini National Park is one of Western Australia's largest national parks and arguably one of the most spectacular. Unbeatable for adventure, the park is famous for its sheer gorges, waterfalls and cool swimming holes.
Nestled deep in the Hamersley Ranges, at the base of the beautiful Mt Nameless, is the town of Tom Price. Tom Price is a picturesque, modern and fully serviced town designed to blend into the natural environment and is a great destination during the sunny winter months.
Nullagine and Marble Bar
With the discovery of gold in 1888, and later diamond and gem stones, Nullagine is unspoilt nature and is a must for the traveller seeking true four wheel adventure and off the beaten track wilderness. Stop in Marble Bar to visit the historic gold rush mining town and the Comet Mine.
For further information please go to the Department of Tourism website.