03:36 pm, Wednesday 15 May, 2013
Photo: SafetyCulture Library
The Australian Government will invest more than $10.5 million to establish a national approach in protecting the people from asbestos-related diseases.
This was revealed by the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten on Tuesday.
“Asbestos is a cruel, indiscriminate killer, and because of its widespread use over much of the 20th century, it remains a persistent threat to Australians,” said Mr Shorten.
“In 2010, 642 Australians died from mesothelioma, and for every death attributed to mesothelioma, it’s estimated two further people die from lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
“Over the next 20 years, up to 40,000 Australians are expected to be diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease. There are children not yet born who’ll die of an asbestos-related disease.”
Just this year, Mr Shorten introduced legislation into Parliament to establish the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency. (Read SafetyCulture report).
“This is an example of this Government’s commitment to protect Australians by leading the first nationally coordinated approach to handling asbestos beyond our workplaces.”
One of the agency’s missions is to implement a plan to address illegal dumping, to encourage safe disposal across the country, and to establish a strategy for the staged removal of asbestos-containing materials from government and commercial structures.
The Bill to establish the agency is now before the House of Representatives. It is the Government’s objective that the agency will start operations from 1 July 2013.