The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency has recently released two important documents reporting on Australia’s work towards an asbestos-free country.
The second annual progress report for 20156-17 was launched by Chair of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Council, Diane Smith-Gander. It outlines activities and data that state, territory and Australian Government entities have reported to the agency under the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Management and Awareness.
“It is pleasing to see that each year we can demonstrate a positive trend towards the amount of work being undertaken to prevent asbestos-related disease in Australia,” said Ms Smith-Gander.
“This reflects an increased focus on asbestos management and awareness that is achieved through improved coordination and reporting across all levels of government.
“The amount of asbestos waste disposed of during 2016-17 was higher than any previous year where data is available. This demonstrates that Australia’s asbestos legacy is an increasing waste stream challenge.”
The report also highlights a series of case studies from across Australia showing how the work supporting the National Strategic Plan is delivered.
Australia’s first ever National Asbestos Profile has also been launched by Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency CEO, Peter Tighe.
The profile follows the template developed by the World Health Organisation and International Labour Organisation and draws on best available research and data sources to provide a historical perspective on past exposure to asbestos, as well as information on the current management of asbestos in Australia.
This document supports Australia’s National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Management and Awareness and over time will be used to measure progress made towards eliminating asbestos-related diseases in the country.
“The National Asbestos Profile is the missing piece of the puzzle to help ensure our prevention strategies, messages and programs are on track to prevent ARDs and targeted to the highest level of risks,” said Mr. Tighe.
“The economic impact of asbestos-related disease is growing with total health system costs related to asbestos-related disease are estimated at $185 million in 2015-16 and the productively losses were $321 million.
“We need to gain a better understanding of the amount and location of asbestos containing-material (ACM) in the residential sector.”