The Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities (HACA) has engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct an independent investigation into loose-fill asbestos in New South Wales, and is providing free ceiling insulation testing to identify the full extent of affected homes across the State.

HACA is comprised of NSW government agencies that have a role in the management, monitoring and response to asbestos issues and is chaired by WorkCover NSW.

Free ceiling insulation tests are being provided for homeowners across 26 local government areas to identify all loose fill asbestos in residential premises.

Concerned residents in homes built before 1980 can register online or call Service NSW to see if they are eligible to have their property tested and assessed for the material.

A licensed asbestos assessor can advise on whether living spaces are well sealed and asbestos hazards are appropriately controlled. A list of licensed asbestos assessors is online at www.workcover.nsw.gov.au   

Free independent technical assessments are being offered to affected homeowners, advising on and confirming the adequacy of risk controls in each of the identified homes for a 12 month period until August 2015.

  • As of 8 January, 1597 premises in the 26 council areas have registered for the free sampling service. These LGAs have been identified through the analysis of archival government records. A breakdown of sampling requests by LGA is available on the WorkCover website at www.workcover.nsw.gov.au
  • Licensed asbestos assessors are currently undertaking inspections and testing of properties.
  • As of 8 January, 510 properties have been tested, and all samples have returned a negative result.
  • Testing is ongoing.

HACA is taking action to accelerate these assessments so the findings can be used to inform the NSW Government on actions that need to be taken. As the investigation is ongoing, no additional information is available until the next update.

In December 2014 the NSW Government announced a further assistance package for NSW residents with loose-fill asbestos in their homes. This includes a ‘Make Safe’ Assistance Package for affected properties and the establishment of a Loose Fill Asbestos Insulation Taskforce.

The Loose Fill Asbestos Insulation Taskforce will develop a comprehensive action plan to advise the government on the most appropriate enduring solution to the loose-fill asbestos issue in NSW.

A new website and hotline has been set up for the community register for the free sampling service or to obtain further information and advice. Go to www.nsw.gov.au/loosefillasbestos or call Service NSW on 13 77 88 for more details.

Editor’s note: As a result of the recording of duplicate entries for the sampling service during December 2014, the number of total registrations was incorrectly reported in the Weekly Update dated 7 January 2015 as 2659 requests.  The correct figure as at 8 January 2015 is 1597. These revised and confirmed figures still demonstrate a significant increase during December.

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