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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 5 Hansard (10 May) . . Page.. 1865 ..


Sport—ground maintenance (Question No 1059)

Mr Milligan asked the Minister for Sport and Recreation, upon notice, on 23 March 2018:

(1) Concerning the synthetic surface used on the Gold Creek School sporting ground as I have been contacted by local residents, parents and family members who are concerned about both the state of the synthetic sporting oval surface and the actual substance that is used to top up this ground, Minister are you aware of the top up material used on the Gold Creek School sporting oval is known as rubber crumb and do you acknowledge that rubber crumb contains an array of toxic substances.

(2) Can the Minister confirm that adequate information has been reviewed about this material prior to its installation and that this has been made available to the communities in which it is present.

(3) Can the Minister provide a Safety Data Sheet for rubber crumb.

(4) How much does rubber crumb cost in comparison to other natural materials both in terms of initial purchase and ongoing maintenance costs.

(5) Can the Minister confirm that this sporting oval is due to be replaced in two years' time; if so, what materials will be in the new surface to ensure reduced risk both to users and the broader environment.

Ms Berry: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) The crumbed rubber is sourced from recycled car tyres which have been used in synthetic sports fields for nearly 20 years. The synthetic "SBR" rubber is made by bringing together various chemicals to make polymers into rubber latex and plastics. This process is used for many products such as shoes, toys and other products that are handled and used daily, as well as commercial products including rubber matting and vehicle tyres. The safety of SBR as a playing field surface is demonstrated by independent research conducted by the Washington State Department of Health and the University of Washington School of Public Health which investigated the safety of the infill in response to heightened public concern in 2016-17.

(2) Please see attached.

(3) No Safety Data Sheet is available for the specific product at Nicholls due to its age. However, all new or upgraded facilities will meet current standards and will have a Safety Data Sheet available.

(4) Organic forms of infill are around 30% higher in initial cost than rubber infill. Synthetic sports surfaces are approximately 20% cheaper to maintain than natural grass per hour of use.

(5) Any new surface will utilise the latest synthetic technology and ensure the highest standards of health and safety and environmental sustainability.

(A copy of the attachment is available at the Chamber Support Office).


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