National plan to reduce the risk of asbestos


Monday, 31 August, 2015

State and Territory Ministers have endorsed a National Plan on Asbestos Safety and Eradication.

This is the first time a plan of its type has been endorsed by state, territory and Commonwealth governments.

“As one of the biggest users of asbestos in the world until the mid-1980s, the legacy of this substance in Australia is tragic, with consequences over the coming decades still to come. We must be coordinated, measured and strategic in the way we contend with asbestos management,” Minister for Employment, Senator Eric Abetz said at the launch of the plan on Friday 28 August.

“That’s why I’m so pleased to see the culmination of the government’s coordinated national approach to deliver on common goals to meet this insidious challenge.

“This plan will result in coordinated effort across the country to reduce the deadly effects of asbestos on Australians, as well as help put Australia at the forefront of global efforts to deal with the deadly substance.”

The National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Management and Awareness unites all jurisdictions in Australia to work together to develop practical, long-term solutions to this difficult problem.

Senator Abetz also paid tribute to the union movement for its positive input into this issue over many years.

The strategy will focus on preventing exposure to airborne asbestos fibres with the aim of eliminating asbestos-related disease in Australia.

The plan contains six main strategies:

  1. Increasing the public’s awareness of the health risks of asbestos.
  2. Supporting and promote research.
  3. Improving information about the identification and location of asbestos.
  4. Developing best practice in all aspects of asbestos management.
  5. Identifying priority areas to improve the safe removal of asbestos.
  6. Working to stop asbestos imports to Australia and campaign to achieve a worldwide ban on asbestos mining and manufacturing.

The plan is available at: http://asbestossafety.gov.au/national-strategic-plan.

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