Inaugural conference to highlight asbestos safety and management
The inaugural Asbestos Safety & Management Conference will bring all levels of government and non-government together to discuss the challenges of managing Australia’s asbestos legacy. The conference will take place in the Blue Mountains from 19–20 May and will be co-hosted by the Blue Mountains City Council and the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency. The conference will feature a series of plenary sessions, workshops and networking activities, as well as optional pre-conference activities.
The 2022 theme, ‘Acting together to prevent asbestos exposure’, comes as annual asbestos-related deaths continue to rise. The conference co-host and Chief Executive Officer of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency, Justine Ross, said the conference is more important than ever, as an estimated 4000 Australians die every year from asbestos-related diseases. Ross added that this number is four times higher than the annual road toll.
“We need all levels of government and industry working together to tackle our asbestos legacy. This conference allows our country’s finest asbestos specialists to network, exchange experiences and develop collaborative plans of action for our future,” said Ross.
Local governments are often tasked with managing the nation’s waste facilities, cleaning up illegal dumping and dealing with asbestos materials following natural disasters. The conference will have a key focus on addressing these challenges. Dr Rosemary Dillon, General Manager of the Blue Mountains City Council, encouraged anyone involved in asbestos management, particularly those on the front line, to attend the conference and share their stories of how the nation can improve its current processes. With guest speakers to be announced soon, the event is designed to lead the charge for asbestos management across the nation.
Like many events, the Asbestos Safety & Management Conference has adopted a hybrid approach to allow as many attendees as possible. Delegates can attend the event in person at the Blue Mountains, or livestream the event from home or the office. The conference is open to attendees from various industries and will see local, state and federal governments, removal contractors, regulators, property managers and non-government organisations come together. Leading asbestos experts and specialists will also attend the conference to discuss new strategies to prevent Australians from being exposed to asbestos fibres.
“By acting together, we can stop further tragic deaths by preventing exposure to asbestos fibres through better management of asbestos in both our built and natural environment,” said Ross.
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