Monday, 2 November 2015

Batchelor NT, St. Barbara's Catholic Church

Batchelor is a town in the Northern Territory of Australia. It's the Gateway to Litchfield National Park (NP).  It's 98 klm south of the Darwin.

In Batchelor is a Catholic Church called St. Barbara's it's origin is historically connected with the uranium mining industry at Rum Jungle (105klm from Darwin).
The church was built in 1954, is now abandoned and contains:

 ~ Asbestos. ~

Most people think about asbestos as that material on the outside of your home - wall sheeting, eaves, carport ceilings, corrugated roofing and fencing. It was used extensively on the inside of your home - as the sheeting on the bathroom, laundry, kitchen walls and ceilings.

You can see these asbestos products in your own home, kindergarten, sports club, school, church, pubs and clubs and work places.

These were non-friable stable materials and not dangerous unless disturbed, accidentally damaged, weathered or worked upon. Generally the non friable asbestos products contained approximately 5% - 15% asbestos - the rest was cement, sand, resins and other bonding materials.

97% of asbestos containing materials are non friable, for example, Asbestos cement sheeting - if accidentally damaged or broken may release a few fibres initially but will not continue to do so…

Asbestos was widely used in home construction from 1950 through to the late 1980s.

The top five on the list of people most likely to contract asbestos are:
Carpenters, Miners, Builders’ Labourers, Seagoing Personnel and Railway Workers.

The fibers of Asbestos can and does get into the lungs causing great discomfort and finally death.

If you wish to read more about Asbestos you will find it [ here ] and it's there I found the information.

Saw this church from the road and wanted to investigate, and it wasn't obvious that this building contained Asbestos.  I did find a small sign outside saying that St. Barbara's Church contained Asbestos and No Entry.  It surprised me greatly that this church is still standing with what it contains.
One day, it's going to have to be removed. 
Men with suits on, their bodies covered completely, masks and so on.






Put the lens of the camera inside the louver window and was able to capture a little of the inside.

40 comments:

  1. No thoughts.

    Maybe because my mind is still on the last blog....'A ham on the lam.' bwa ha ha...still gets my phunny bone

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  2. As a church it looks rather like a school.
    Asbestos is a bit of a sore point here. My youngest brother and his wife have had to move because their house was insulated with loose fill friable asbestos. The house will be demolished. Like nearly a thousand others here.

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    1. It does look like a school.
      Oh gosh, that is a big problem then. Would not be good to HAVE to move, but you do what you got to do, under the circumstances.

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  3. Margaret, the architecture of the church is very simple. In Poland we don't churches in these styles. Asbestos is very dangeous here as a meterial.

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    1. Yes, a simplistic church.
      Didn't know if asbestos was or had been used in other countries until you said.

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  4. First what a lovely old church
    Second my grandfather died of mesothelioma (asbestos cancer) four years ago on the 4th, he was a carpenter

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  5. It is very well ventilated. I suppose the cost of removing it is why it is still there and the church body needs to pay.

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    1. It is well ventilated, it needed to be considering it was winter at 35degC there.
      Would be very costly to remove, and you are no doubt correct in what you say.

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  6. It's completely different from churches that can be seen in my country , with images that adorn the temple and floral ornaments .

    Kisses

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    1. The church is in the outback of Australia and it's very simple and very different from most of our churches also.

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  7. When we renovated our apartment here in Asia, our contractor wanted to replace the old asbestos ceiling with new asbestos ceiling! None of his workers wore masks or any type of protection and much to my insistence and sending of articles regarding the matter he just dismissed me with - "oh you foreigners worry about so much!"

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    1. You are not kidding! Well maybe we foreigners have every right to worry as it's a deadly disease as you know. It's good you had your wits about you.

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    2. We certainly do have every right to worry, especially after seeing on TV the disgraceful food producing methods used in China, not to mention the poor quality toys and furniture etc.

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  8. Great informative report - ASBESTOS - you really have to wonder as scientists did exist in the period
    of this asbestos building boom, if the scientists were asleep????
    More likely as Monica has written above, the building contractors told the scientists - "oh you worry too much"??????
    You'd think the council would override any church objections and as the church is no longer used, and just bull dozed the bloody place to the ground and rid the area of any possible affects.
    Some of my friends have died a lingering death of misery from this dreaded affliction.
    Cheers
    Colin

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    1. Colin, I suppose the technology wasn't about at that time.
      Well it should be pulled down but there are houses near by with people. People would have to go as well and return after the event.

      It's not a good thing to die of, but then is anything.

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  9. Lovely series of photos that bring me back to simpler times. Thanks, Margaret.

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  10. That is quite a story, and sad that the church was made with materials containing asbestos. I worked in a library that contains asbestos and pretty many older homes in the USA have ceiling tiles, etc. containing it. It is most dangerous when you disturb it, usually when you try to remove it.

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    1. It's a big problem this asbestos. Let's hope everyone will be safe from it.

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  11. Possibly the church is still standing because pulling it down safely and disposing of the asbestos material safely is going to be a big chore. There are many new regulations governing how this is done these days and perhaps they don't yet have all their ducks in a row, so to speak.

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    1. I reckon it will be a massive job when it's done. Being so far in the outback, goodness only knows when that will be removed and where to put the contents. Always a lot of red tape attached to this type of thing, and I don't know the half of it.

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  12. It seems from the comments above that asbestos and it's associated problems are all over the world, not just an Australian issue. We had to demolish an old home last year because of asbestos. And yes, the demolition team came all kitted out in suits and masks.

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    1. Oh gosh..never think of it being on farms...but why would that be any different!

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  13. Such an impersonal looking building. It makes one wonder why it hasn't already been demolished. Bureaucracy passing the buck again, I guess, and the corresponding file about removing the building is down at the bottom of the pile!

    I love seeing parts of Australia through the lens of your camera, Margaret. I've only spent an extremely brief period in the Northern Territory.

    I only got as far as Alice Springs airport back in late January 1987...and then only very briefly because the flight had to almost immediately take off again. Even though it was late afternoon it was considered still far too hot for the plane to be refueled. The plane was diverted to Adelaide. I was on a flight from Cairns to Perth...one of the first direct flights, if not the first, between the two cities...supposedly direct flight! :)

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    1. I guess that building will be moved one day, and that day may be too late for the people that live very near.
      Cairns to Perth is a fairly long way. Interesting it was considered too hot, but it was January.

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    2. Well, that was what we passengers were told re the reason for the diversion. It was the time of the America's Cup held in the waters out from Fremantle. Conveniently I had to go to Perth for business reasons at that time...hence my trip. I don't remember doing much business! lol

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    4. And to add to this - it's turning into a novella - I'm sorry! :)

      The flight was wonderful because the pilot purposely flew the plane - from what he told the passengers - low over the Gulf Country and down through to Alice. The landscape below was astounding.

      I'll never forget the colours of the MacDonnell Ranges that afternoon. I let out an audible gasp...the sight took my breath away in the most pleasant of ways. Albert Namatjira never lied in the colours in his paintings. It's a sight I shall never forget.

      I took a few photos out of the plane window as we were flying along..and when I returned back home (Hinchinbrook Island), I had the film developed...and when the photos returned I couldn't recognise one of them. I thought why the hell and where the hell had I'd take a photo of a kidney...and then I realised it was Uluru/Ayers Rock! lol

      I reckon the pilot that day needed commending because he was so generous to those of us on the flight. We saw so much that on any normal flight we would never have had the opportunity of seeing. It was a memorable flight in so many ways.

      We eventually arrived in Perth around 11 pm that night...having left Cairns around 4 pm.

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    5. Don't be sorry, it's good to talk/chat this way :). We can learn how beautiful the country is..

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  14. It's so sad that they are leaving that church there abandoned... I live in Italy and there are pretty much the same issues here as well unfortunately. Nice informative post! I enjoyed the read :-)

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    1. Welcome :)
      Gosh had no idea Italy was in the same position with asbestos.

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  15. Asbestos was commonly used in buildings in the U.S. and apparently elsewhere as well. Many old schools had to be closed and demolished or at least the asbestos had to be cleaned up a few years ago. One was the school I attended for the elementary years!

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    1. Interesting Cynthia. I expect we have all been in places where is Asbestos, though it's not too bad if not disturbed.

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  16. Can some one please tell me more good facts about the church

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    1. Hello Linda...here is a link with more information regarding the church.
      http://www.territorystories.nt.gov.au/handle/10070/245150

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