The NSW Government is calling for public feedback on a draft asbestos plan to better manage the handling of asbestos in the community.

Minister for Finance and Services Mr Greg Pearce said the plan was part of a Government initiative to better co-ordinate the management of asbestos across the state.

“I cannot emphasise enough the importance of the safe management or removal of asbestos,” Mr Pearce said.

“In 2011 the Dust Diseases Board reported there were 201 deaths that year due to asbestos-related disease and sadly, this number is expected to climb.”

In November 2010 the NSW Ombudsman released a report into the level of co-ordination between government agencies titled Responding to the asbestos problem: The need for significant reform in NSW.

Mr Pearce said the report recommended reforms such as a state-wide asbestos management plan and stronger co-ordination between government agencies.

“In response to the report, the government has established the Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities group which is made up of senior officials from across government,” Mr Pearce said.

“Chaired by WorkCover, this group will be responsible for the management of asbestos and will develop a plan for the safe management of asbestos to better prevent asbestos-related diseases,” he said.

“I urge the community to have its say on the plan before it becomes final.

“While the current system for monitoring and handling asbestos is robust, there are always opportunities for improvement.

“This plan demonstrates the government’s commitment to keeping people safe from asbestos-related diseases,” Mr Pearce said.
To view the plan and register your feedback go to www.workcover.nsw.gov.au

Submissions close on August 17 2012.

You can read a PDF version of this media release.

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