Australia’s past use of asbestos has left us with a harmful legacy. Many public and commercial buildings, homes and infrastructure contain large amounts of ageing asbestos-containing materials. Vigilance and proactive action is needed to deal with this legacy to prevent further disease and death.
Local governments across Australia are on the front line in dealing with asbestos in our communities. They deal with the historical legacy asbestos problem in housing, manage waste facilities where asbestos is disposed of, clean up illegal asbestos waste dumping and other incidents and deal with asbestos-containing materials following natural disasters.
The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA) recognises the key role local government plays in the asbestos management system and educating their communities about asbestos and residential asbestos safety.
A recent study commissioned by ASEA into opportunities for local government to improve asbestos safety in their communities identified a number of strategies. These include providing comprehensive information online, developing consistent asbestos policies, running community education campaigns and online resources to allow residents to inform local government of instances of illegal dumping. ASEA is keen to work with local governments on finding ways to implement these strategies.
Under the new National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management 2019-2023, ASEA will be engaging with the local government sector directly in its goal to eliminate asbestos-related disease in Australia.
The National Strategic Plan ensures there is a nationally consistent and coordinated approach to asbestos awareness, management and removal with involvement from all levels of government and non-government stakeholders. It means the important work commenced under the old National Strategic Plan 2014-2018 continues in order to prevent asbestos-related disease into the future.
ASEA will be in the exhibition hall during the National General Assembly 2019.