Agency delivers 2016-17 Progress Report and National Asbestos Profile


The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency officially released two important documents at the Summit in Canberra from 26-28 November, reporting on Australia’s work towards an asbestos free Australia.

Chair of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Council, Diane Smith-Gander launched the second annual progress report for the 2016-17 year outlining activities and data that state, territory and Australian Government entities have reported to the agency under the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Management and Awareness.

The Progress Report also highlights a series of case studies from across Australia to show how the work supporting the National Strategic Plan is delivered.

Chief Executive Officer of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency, Peter Tighe also launched Australia’s first ever National Asbestos Profile.

The profile follows the template developed by the World Health Organisation and International Labour Organisation and draws on best available research and data sources to provide a historical perspective on past exposures to asbestos, as well as information on the current management of asbestos in Australia.

The profile provides information on the consumption of the various types of asbestos, populations at risk from current and past exposures, the system for inspection and enforcement of exposure limits, as well as the social and economic burden of asbestos-related diseases.

This document supports Australia’s National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Management and Awareness and over time will be used to measure progress made towards eliminating asbestos‑related diseases in Australia.

Quotes attributable to Diane Smith-Gander, Chair, Asbestos Safety and Eradication Council:

“It is pleasing to see that each year we can demonstrate a positive trend towards the amount of work being undertaken to prevent asbestos-related disease in Australia.”

“This reflects an increased focus on asbestos management and awareness that is achieved through improved coordination and reporting across all levels of government.”

“The amount of asbestos waste disposed of during 2016-17 was higher than any previous year where data is available. This demonstrates that Australia’s asbestos legacy is an increasing waste stream challenge.”

Quotes attributable to Peter Tighe, CEO, Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency:

“The National Asbestos Profile is the missing piece of the puzzle to help ensure our prevention strategies, messages and programs are on track to prevent ARDs and targeted to the highest level of risks.”

“The economic impact of asbestos-related disease is growing with total health system costs related to asbestos-related disease are estimated at $185 million in 2015-16 and the productively losses were $321 million.”

“We need to gain a better understanding of the amount and location of asbestos containing-material (ACM) in the residential sector.”