More findings have been made in an escalating asbestos mulch scandal.

Concerns have this week been raised about mulch used in the Rozelle Interchange project and the newly opened Rozelle Parklands.

It comes after a private auditor, over a month prior to the discovery of asbestos in garden beds, flagged the testing of mulch near Rozelle Parklands as “non-compliant” with the required guidelines. 

The mulch in question was reported to contain building debris, including plaster, tile, and metal, raising serious health and environmental concerns.

Despite assurance that the mulch was clean, the auditor's report highlighted non-compliance in the sampling process conducted on behalf of contractor John Holland CPB. 

This non-compliance related to the frequency and method of sampling for potential contaminants, including heavy metals, poisons, and foreign materials, as per the Environment Protection Authority's (EPA) guidelines. 

The EPA later discovered uncovered asbestos at a site belonging to the supplier, although the company maintains this was unrelated to the mulch production area.

This situation has led to significant public outcry, with Sydney's Inner West Council taking legal action against contractors John Holland and CPB for failing to adequately address the asbestos contamination at Rozelle Parklands. 

The park, found contaminated in early January, was closed off, with clean-up efforts falling behind schedule. 

The EPA, alongside the NSW Asbestos Taskforce, is now conducting a large-scale investigation into the mulch's asbestos contamination, spanning multiple locations across Sydney. 

This effort aims to trace the contamination source, assess the potential presence of legacy asbestos, and ensure the public's safety. 

With 59 sites across the city testing positive for asbestos-contaminated mulch, the scale of this environmental and health crisis is concerning to many residents.

Greens environment spokesperson Sue Higginson and former EPA head Barry Buffier have both called for increased regulatory action and transparency in the industry.