25 September 2023

New breath of air for asbestos war

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An asbestos enquiry line and informative website have been introduced or repurposed as part of a crackdown on importing and using the deadly material.

Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations, Kelly O’Dwyer said the upgrades would allow people to get fast and accurate referral advice on dealing with asbestos around their homes, workplace or the environment.

“Sadly, around 4,000 Australians die from asbestos-related diseases each year,” Ms O’Dwyer said.

“This figure is simply too high.

“Repurposing of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA) enquiry line and the new ASEA website will provide greater clarity on where the community can go to for help and advice, no matter which State or Territory they live in.”

She said Australia’s border measures were also being strengthened to prevent the illegal import of asbestos.

Assistant Minister for Home Affairs, Senator Linda Reynolds said changes to customs and imports regulations would also be introduced to increase penalties, simplify classification of asbestos materials and help protect the community from illegal importation of asbestos materials.

“The Government intends to bring forward amendments to strengthen offences and penalties for the illegal importation of products containing asbestos,” Senator Reynolds said.

“This will be accompanied by further reforms to strengthen the customs regulations and improve consistency with work, health and safety laws,” she said.

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