New licensing for asbestos removal

Friday, 01 September, 2006

New licensing requirements for the commercial removal of asbestos were announced yesterday by NSW Minister for Commerce, John Della Bosca.

The measures are designed to protect building workers and bystanders from the dangers of asbestos and will come into force on 1 January 2007.

"Under the amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001, all commercial asbestos removal involving 50 square metres or more of bonded asbestos material will be required to be undertaken by appropriately qualified and licensed operators," Della Bosca said.

The changes were introduced after a two-month consultation period and are in response to community concern over risks posed by operators removing asbestos inappropriately.

The reduction in the threshold from 200 square metres to 50 square metres from 1 January is intended to enable industry time to adjust to the new requirements.

The threshold will be reduced again in July 2007, when it will go down to just 10 square metres.

"WorkCover and the Department of Commerce will work with industry and training providers to ensure training courses are available for new contractors seeking the appropriate licence," Della Bosca said.

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