In 2010, a wide-ranging review was established by the Australian Government to make recommendations for the development of a national strategic plan to improve asbestos management in Australia.
The Asbestos Management Review Report released in August 2012 recommended the development of a national strategic plan to improve asbestos awareness and management in the broader community. The review also recommended that an independent national agency be established to guide the implementation of the plan, which resulted initially in the creation of the Office of Asbestos Safety (the office) in September 2012 to start this work.
In June 2013, the Australian Parliament enacted the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency Act 2013, which established the agency and the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Council and also prescribed the functions and objectives of these two bodies. The agency and council came into existence on 1 July 2013.
The agency and council are tasked with implementing the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Management and Awareness 2014–2018 (national strategic plan), which was released to the public on 19 June 2015 and publicly launched by the Minister for Employment on 28 August 2015.
National Asbestos Exposure Register
Also in June 2013, the Australian Government established the National Asbestos Exposure Register to record the details of members of the community who believe they have been exposed to asbestos, either in the workplace or in the general community. The agency was given the responsibility to manage the register for the Australian Government and to ensure data collected was stored correctly under the Archives Act 1983 and statistical analysis was produced to identify potential risks through registration trends.