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Asbestos Legislation Hits Parliament. Removal Agency Established
The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency is expected to work with jurisdictions to establish a nationally consistent method of asbestos eradication, handling, and awareness. The agency will also manage environmental and public health issues attributed to asbestos.
The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency was a key component found in the Asbestos Management Review 2010.
The introduction of the asbestos agency joins recently harmonised OHS legislation across the country in order to maintain a consistent national approach.
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten said Australia’s past widespread use of asbestos has left asbestos ridden material in the built environment. “It’s been almost a decade since asbestos was banned in this country and still, today, the dangers of this silent killer remain,” Mr Shorten said. “Asbestos is the worst industrial menace that will go on killing for decades. “The sad truth is that asbestos-related deaths are not expected to peak until 2020, and that tragically, we are expecting another 30-40,000 people to be diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases in the next 20 years. “There are children not yet born who will die of asbestos related diseases. “We owe it to future generations to come to grips with the blight of asbestos.”
Shorten stated that the agency is the first bristle in a broad stroke against illegal dumping. He hopes the legislation will encourage safe disposal across Australia.
“The Agency will work in tandem with all levels of government, unions, industry and support groups to implement a plan of action to eliminate asbestos exposure,” Mr Shorten said.“This is the first time that we will have a coordinated approach to eradicating, and handling asbestos beyond our workplaces.”
The new Agency is expected to be operational from 1 July 2013.
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