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NBN Roll Out Work Stopped Amid Asbestos Concerns
The Electrical Trades Union’s David Mier reported having visited approximately 13 sites around Hobart, with some next to asbestos pits.
He alleged that only a small number of subcontractors at the sites had received mandatory asbestos training.
“Not only are they exposing themselves to the potential of asbestos fibres, but the general public as well,” he said.
“Clearly I’d be suggesting the work should cease until they’ve been adequately trained.”
Mier is concerned over reports that uninformed workers are digging up asbestos-lined telephone pits.
“Potentially it can put lives at risk, the workforce and the general public,” he said.
“I’ll be writing a chronology of events and a precis of what we’ve seen here and we’ll be submitting that to Conroy and NBN Co and we’ll be asking questions: why aren’t their obligations being fulfilled?”
The agency responsible for the safety of workers installing the NBN admits there are issues surrounding asbestos.
Comcare has stated intentions of intervening on specific sites.
It says it is working with NBN Co to improve current systems, including around asbestos awareness training.
NBN Co released a statement saying it is investigating the claims.
Its contractor Visionstream says its workers have all received training in asbestos awareness and handling.
Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has been contacted for comment.
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