NSW Government launches new, voluntary asbestos survey

THE NSW Government has announced it will launch an independent investigation to help determine the number of premises in NSW that may contain loose-filled asbestos ceiling insulation material.

Minister for Finance and Services Dominic Perrottet said the investigation follows community concerns about those residential buildings that may contain asbestos material installed by contractor ‘Mr Fluffy’ during the 1960s and 1970s.

“The NSW government is absolutely committed to ensuring the health and safety of all citizens in this state,” Mr Perrottet said.

“This commitment stands when it comes to the issue of asbestos.

“I have now asked WorkCover NSW to contract an independent specialist to work with the NSW Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities (HACA) to help establish the scope of properties impacted.”

Free, independent technical assessments will be offered to affected homeowners on a voluntary basis  to advise on and confirm the adequacy of risk controls in each of the identified homes for a 12 month period.

“This is so we can verify that known loose-fill asbestos affected houses meet NSW Government current recommendations for limiting exposure, and ensure occupants in identified houses are not exposed to asbestos levels above those found in comparable housing stock of its generation,” Mr Perrottet said.

A free testing service will also be offered to residents in the 14 affected local government areas- including Queanbeyan, Bega Valley, Cooma Monaro, Eurobodalla , Goulburn Mulwaree, Yass Valley, Young and Wagga Wagga City Council, among others-  for any suspected loose-fill asbestos from homes built prior to 1980, for a 12 month period. 

The Minister said the investigation, to be funded by WorkCover NSW, will review and assess relevant records including inspections reports, risk assessments and compliance and disposal records.

Advice on managing asbestos insulation is available on the WorkCover website at www.workcover.nsw.gov.au or call 13 10 50.

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