Retrained field force to begin Telstra pit remediation works

Media Release, 05 August 2013

Telstra today advised contractors that staged remediation works on its pits would recommence from 19 August with additional safeguards in place.

Chief Operations Officer Brendon Riley said Telstra would enhance requirements for contractors involved in remediation of Telstra pits and ensure relevant staff had completed additional training in the safe handling and removal of asbestos.

“We advised our contractors today that only companies which hold a Class B licence and can certify their staff have relevant training will start work from 19 August. We expect the workforce to steadily ramp up as more contractors meet these stringent requirements,” Mr Riley said.

“We have appointed and trained 125 Telstra staff for the proposed team of up to 200 specialists to supervise pit remediation. We have updated our process and procedures increasing our level of supervision so the community has confidence this work is being completed safely.”

Mr Riley said Telstra was implementing stronger community engagement around pit remediation works involving removal of asbestos containing material.

“We will brief local councils in the weeks prior to any NBN remediation work occurring and seek to brief residents and businesses through information packs and letters sent in the week leading up to the work. In the case of emergency works, we intend to doorknock to attempt contact,” Mr Riley said.

“We continue to work closely with the Federal Government, Asbestos Task Force and Comcare through this process. We will also continue to consult with our employees and unions about our safety focus and training.”

Anyone concerned about work in their area can contact Telstra on a dedicated 1800 067 225 hotline service.