CHRIS BATH: Alright thanks Adam. Adam Walters there live from Belmore.
It's feared the health of swimmers at a popular Sydney beach is at risk from toxic sludge. A Seven News investigation has found waste from an old tip is being pumped close to the sand just south of Maroubra.
[Excerpt of report]
REPORTER: After heavy rain a pool forms on the Malabar Headland. But this area used to be a dump and it's feared this water is a cocktail of chemicals.
MALE: We have leachates, we have toxic chemicals, we have heavy metals and we also have asbestos residues.
REPORTER: The former wetland south of Maroubra was used as a landfill dump in the 1980s. Now it's being cleaned up by the Federal Government with more than two-hundred-and-thirty tonnes of waste, asbestos and car bodies removed.
MALE: Any of the asbestos that has been in powdered form or broken up in any way can be washed - fibres can be washed into that.
REPORTER: But these pictures shot by worried locals and obtained by Seven News raised concerns the potentially toxic sludge is being pumped towards the beach. Local Liberal candidate Michael Feneley says a senior contractor at the site has admitted the mistake.
MICHAEL FENELEY: There's no excuse at all to actually pump the water down very close to the beach. The only possible run off for that water now is directly across the beach that those children play on.
REPORTER: It's worried locals.
LOCAL MALE: You don't want a lot of toxic stuff running around. Like through the water everywhere.
LOCAL MALE: I actually go like body boarding and surfing out here quite often.
REPORTER: We asked the company overseeing the project to explain the video and whether anyone was being put at risk by the decision to pump the sludge closer to the water. But no one from Enviropacific was willing to speak on camera.
Local MP and former Environment Minister Peter Garrett hosed down concerns.
PETER GARRETT: There has been no discharge onto the beach. There has been no impact and there will be no impact at all.
REPORTER: The Opposition is not convinced.
MALE: The water has to be captured, trucked and treated. That's what we do in the twenty-first century, not a nineteenth century approach of using our beaches as sewers.
[End of excerpt]
CHRIS BATH: And Lee Jeloscek joins us live. Now Lee is the Environment Protection Authority doing anything?
LEE JELOSCEK: Chris we gave a copy of the video to the EPA this afternoon and we're told that the scientists there are already aware of this situation. And because it's happening on Commonwealth land and the EPA is a state based authority, it is powerless to act until some of those remnants, those potentially toxic remnants get into the water. But it could be a case of too little, too late for beachgoers, Chris.
CHRIS BATH: Thanks Lee. Lee Jeloscek there live from Malabar. To our extreme weather and parts of…