Last week the NSW Minister for Finance and Services, Greg Pearce released a plan to reduce the incidence of asbestos-related diseases across NSW.
This State-wide Asbestos Plan has been developed by the Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities (HACA) in consultation with government agencies, local councils, MBA NSW, ARCA NSW and DCA NSW and worker representatives and disease research groups.
HACA was established in response to the NSW Ombudsman recommendations for significant asbestos reform in NSW.
Mr Pearce said the plan will increase awareness of the dangers associated with asbestos and ensure its safe management to improve long term health and safety outcomes. Australia has one of the highest mesothelioma rates in the world with the NSW Dust Diseases Board reporting 201 asbestos related deaths across the state in 2011, he said.
The plan focuses on four key areas:
- research – to develop a better understanding of asbestos issues and identify emerging asbestos-related hazards
- risk communication – to raise public awareness
- prevention – to coordinate illness-prevention strategies
- coordination – to manage asbestos issues and emergency responses, increase compliance and clarify regulatory roles.
The team at CETEC welcomes this plan. We believe it will facilitate a reduction in the long term risks associated with asbestos in NSW.
To visit WorkCover Authority of NSW website to download your copy of the plan.