Unions NSW welcomes new asbestos agency
The creation of a new national agency to scrutinise the management and removal of asbestos will help ensure we don't see a growth in the number of asbestos victims in coming decades, Unions NSW said today.
The Office for Asbestos Safety was announced by Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten in Sydney today and will come up with a long term plan for the complete removal of asbestos from Australian government and commercial buildings.
Unions NSW Secretary, Mark Lennon said it was tragedy that 600 people died from asbestos related illness each year.
"Here in NSW asbestos has particular resonance because of our long and ongoing struggle with the consequences of asbestos products from companies like James Hardie," Mr Lennon said.
"This agency is a breakthrough. It will mean that in many cases we identify the threat of asbestos before it can have its deadly effect.
"Thousands of families in NSW and across the country have felt the horrible effect of this fibre and we need to stay vigilant to ensure we remove it completely.
"There is no safe level of asbestos exposure. We congratulate the Federal Government and Minister Shorten for this bold move which will help manage the threat of exposure."