The Federal Government’s plan to ban asbestos-containing products in Australia was met with resistance from asbestos-supporters in the asbestos removal industry.
The government’s plan would ban asbestos from the products it uses, such as asbestos insulation, and would require asbestos-contaminated products to be disposed of at a national disposal site.
Asbestos Removal Australia has opposed the proposed bans on asbestos, and its chief executive, Peter Tait, said he was concerned about the proposed legislation.
“This is a step backwards,” Mr Tait said.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring material, and is considered one of the most important building materials. “
We have to keep this country safe and the Australian people can only afford this if we stop it here.”
Asbestos is a naturally occurring material, and is considered one of the most important building materials.
As with other materials, there are risks associated with asbestos exposure.
It can cause cancer, and lung cancer is the leading cause of death in Australians.
The World Health Organisation has warned that exposure to asbestos can cause health problems in people with chronic lung diseases and those who smoke.
The Federal government has committed $1.2 billion over the next four years to develop a national asbestos removal strategy.
The strategy is expected to cover about 90 per cent of Australia’s current asbestos supply, with the remaining 30 per cent to be allocated to new products.
The proposed ban on new asbestos products is a controversial proposal and has caused consternation among asbestos industry members.
In an email to ABC Fact Check, Asbestos Recovery Australia CEO David Haggerty said he had spoken with members of the industry about the proposal.
“Our industry is a strong, dedicated and active one, with strong support from the asbestos industry, and we will continue to work with the Government and relevant organisations to ensure our industry is fully aligned with the broader national and regional strategy,” Mr Haggert said.
He said he understood the concerns of the asbestos-removal industry but that the Government needed to act now.
“There are some issues with the draft legislation, and I’m sure there will be more information on that as the legislation is discussed in Parliament,” Mr Vardaman said.
Federal Opposition leader Brendan O’Connor said Mr Haganty’s comments showed that the federal government was not acting in the best interests of the country.
“The Government is in the midst of a national campaign to ban the use of asbestos in all buildings, not just those that use it,” Mr O’Conners said.
Mr Haggarty also rejected the suggestion that the asbestos ban was a political move, saying that was a misconception that had been spread by the Opposition.
“If you look at the past 30 years, this is a national, all-of-the-above approach,” he said.
The Government has said the plan was not yet finalised.
It is expected the legislation will be introduced in the Senate later this year.
It has also announced a number of initiatives to address asbestos-related health issues.
The new legislation will require a national body to assess the health risks of asbestos exposure in a process known as the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
The legislation will also require the national asbestos disposal authority to develop an asbestos product recall plan, and to undertake a survey of workplace safety standards.
The National Occupational Safety and Health Committee has recommended that a national recall plan be developed to identify and address asbestos exposures, and the national occupational safety and health committee will consider whether that plan is feasible and how it could be implemented.