New plan to handle asbestos in Qld.
New plan to handle asbestos in Qld.

Qld unveils plan to streamline asbestos management

A NEW Queensland asbestos strategy will aim to streamline the management of the deadly material under one clear and concise plan across the state.

Currently four different government departments, 73 local councils as well as numerous other government agencies administer the handling of asbestos complaints and issues in the state.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said the Strategic Plan for the Safe Management of Asbestos in Queensland will focus on effective co-operation with local councils, education and enforcement.

"This comprehensive strategy will mean safer workplaces, safer homes and safer communities," he said.

"The health risks of asbestos are tragically real and managing it effectively and safely is vital.

"Sadly, despite the dangers, effective management of this substance has been hampered in the past by confusion and jurisdictional quibbling."

Mr Bleijie said key components of the new strategy include a review of the suitability of existing penalties and enforcement tools available to Workplace Health and Safety inspectors, strengthening the administration of asbestos licensing and creating a public online register of WHS asbestos license holders.

"Better education will also be a major part of this new strategy," he said.

"A range of educational materials will be rolled out, including a series of short films, which will explain to DIY home owners and businesses their legal obligations for managing and removing asbestos containing materials.

"There will be no excuse in the future for people disposing of asbestos illegally or not having the correct licences or safety equipment.

"Those who do not comply will face consequences."

Mr Bleijie said the State Government would continue to handle workplace incidents and local councils would cover complaints about private residences.

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