Civic Theatre closed for repairs


21 Jul 2015

The Cairns Civic Theatre has been temporarily closed for remediation works to the stage area.

Inspections have identified possible Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) which had been used as a fire retardant to structural bracing at the rear and side walls of the back-of-stage area.

The bracing was discovered last Thursday to have minor damage in sections, which prompted the investigation by an independent specialist consultant and immediate action was taken to close off the affected area and remove staff from the building as a precaution.

"This type of coating was commonly used in older buildings," Council CEO Peter Tabulo said. "The Civic Theatre, like most buildings of that era, contains asbestos materials that, when intact, pose no threat to health.

"However, the identification of damaged sealant and exposed materials has prompted precautionary action."

While testing has shown airborne particles to be at the very lowest level of detection, the presence of fibres on some surfaces has prompted precautionary action.

Staff have been temporarily relocated off-site while cleaning and repairs take place.

"We believe any exposure to the damaged asbestos materials has been minimal and staff have been relocated to prevent any further exposure," Mr Tabulo said.

"The theatre will remain closed while repairs are made to the back-of-stage area and a thorough cleaning process is undertaken. All surfaces will be cleaned and damaged materials will be sealed and protected.

"Specialists will check all areas of the theatre to make sure all asbestos materials are properly sealed.

"The theatre will be re-opened once final inspections have occurred and we can be confident that the risk is no longer present."

Where possible, Council is working with promoters to relocate or reschedule shows affected by the closure.  

Anyone who has purchased tickets for an affected show is asked to refer to the ticketLiNK website for refund and changed schedule information.

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