26 September 2023

Asbestos watchdog to build on role

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A review of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA) has recommended a broadening of the Agency’s activities in its watchdog efforts.

The review, which was tabled in Parliament this week, is a statutory requirement under the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency Act 2013 and was conducted by an independent consultant, Julia Collins.

Attorney-General, Christian Porter said the ASEA was established on 1 July 2013 to coordinate, monitor and report on the implementation of the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management (NSP).

“The review examined ASEA’s statutory role and functions, including its role in implementing the NSP, in light of future challenges in dealing with Australia’s asbestos legacy,” Mr Porter said.

“The review found that ASEA has been successful in providing a strong national and international focus on asbestos issues by bringing together stakeholders, sharing information, encouraging collaboration and building knowledge and capability.”

He said the review recommended the Government continue and broaden the ASEA’s activities in recognition of this valuable work.

Mr Porter acknowledged the significant impact on the health and safety of Australians that might arise from exposure to asbestos.

“Australia has one of the highest incidences of mesothelioma in the world with approximately 4,000 Australians dying each year from asbestos exposure,” he said.

“ASEA plays a critical role in driving national action on asbestos management and safety.”

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