News Alerts

12:41pm Sunday 18 September 2011 – Update 28 – Mitchell factory fire

The Mitchell factory fire recovery is continuing to be actively and carefully managed by ACT Government agencies with additional expertise from our NSW counterparts.

The ACT Government is focused on getting Mitchell reopened but safely.

A comprehensive sampling and testing regime has been implemented by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) at the factory fire site, in Mitchell and surrounding suburbs.

The EPA is now waiting for results of the tests from Mitchell which are expected by early tonight.

Preliminary results from initial samples taken on Friday have shown no sign of any environmental contaminants.

The ACT Government will provide advice on the results to the community as soon as it is available early tonight and the impact they will have on the current exclusion zone.

Controls are still in place to prevent run off from the site and moving further into the stormwater system.

Recovery efforts at the site are continuing today. The ACT Fire Brigade remains on scene with a small amount of smoke smouldering from the fire.

The exclusion zone in Mitchell remains in place. Any business operators who want to request access to their premises inside the exclusion zone should call Canberra Connect on 13 22 81.

Roads closed include Sandford Street, Flemington Road from Randwick Road to Well Station Drive and the intersection of Old Well Station Road and Morisset Road.

2:30pm Saturday 17 September 2011 – Health and Environment Advisory

Due to smoke being carried east, northeast and southeast from the factory fire at Mitchell, ACT just before midnight on September 15, people in the path of the smoke should take basic precautions.

While the risk is low, it is possible that some toxic residue may have been deposited in the path of the smoke, with comprehensive testing currently being undertaken by the ACT Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

As a precaution people are advised to take the following steps:

• not collect drinking water from roofs or other catchments until these surfaces have been washed down;

•drain or service ‘first flush diverters’ if they are part of a rainwater collection system;

•wash fruit and vegetables picked from gardens before eating; and

•where possible, provide bore water or town water for stock rather than dam water or other exposed water.

A small amount of fire fighting foam and other material has entered Flemington Road ponds but this has been isolated and does not affect drinking water supplies.

Potentially affected waterways are being sampled regularly by the ACT EPA.

Ring Canberra Connect on 13 22 81 (from the ACT and from NSW) for more information.

Visit or follow @ACT_ESA of Twitter for the latest news from the ACT Emergency Services Agency.

2:15pm Saturday 17 September 2011 – Mitchell fire update

Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell has this morning reassured Canberrans that response and recovery operations to the fire at the Mitchell plant Friday night are moving as quickly as possible to ensure the safety of the surrounding areas before exclusions are lifted.

To view the full media release, please click the link below. pdf icon20111709 – MR Mitchell fire update.pdf [.PDF 126 KB]