Unions and Asbestos Groups congratulate ALP Govt on Response
The Second Asbestos Summit congratulated Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten on the federal Government’s response to the Asbestos Management Review.
The September 4 Summit was organised and attended by unions, including the CFMEU, the Cancer Council and Victims Support Groups.
The Summit congratulated the Minister for his support of the recommendations of the Review and the immediate establishment of the Office of Asbestos Safety. The Summit noted that this Office is due to provide a comprehensive response to the recommendations by the end of 2012 and a National Strategic Plan by 1 July 2013.
Bipartisan support from Liberal Senator Eric Abetz was welcomed and the Summit called on all State and Territory Governments to do likewise.
Summit participants, for their part, committed to generating strong bipartisan support at all levels of government for the National Asbestos Authority and Strategic Plan.
The Summit supported the recommendations of the Asbestos Management Review Report and calls on all governments to work together to achieve the
Review’s ultimate aim of “eliminating asbestos disease in Australia”.
The proposed National Strategic Plan includes:
- a massive educational campaign for the general public and those working with asbestos;
- priority removal of asbestos from all government and commercial buildings by 2030;
- asbestos content reports for residential buildings;
- national standards for licensed removalists;
- review of the adequacy of disposal sites;
- funding for research; and
- a continuing leadership role for Australia in the global ban on asbestos.
If implemented, the Summit said, the Recommendations mark a turning point in Australian history, a moment when our country agreed that we did not have to live with asbestos in our built environment and when we determined as a nation that the continuation of asbestosrelated disease will not be tolerated.
As Review Chair, Mr Geoff Fary said, the Report provides an opportunity for governments “…to demonstrate national and international leadership on the issues. We could become the first nation to commit to the objective of the ultimate elimination of asbestos related disease”.
Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten committed to this objective on September 4.
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