Introduction

The journey towards a National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Management and Awareness accelerated in 2010. The Australian Government established the Asbestos Management Review to examine ways to improve asbestos management in the Australian community and make recommendations for the development of a National Strategic Plan.

Following many months of research, consultations, and detailed analysis of all the submissions received, the Asbestos Management Review Report was released in June 2012. The report laid the foundations for a national strategic plan and the establishment of an independent national agency to coordinate this work. The agency came into existence with bipartisan and unanimous support for the passage of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency Act 2013 through both houses of the Parliament of Australia.

The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Council was established to advise the Minister and the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency. The Council has worked closely with the agency to review the plan and ensure a national consensus is maintained to deal with our nation’s legacy of asbestos. This revised plan presents a comprehensive set of achievable national goals and outcomes for asbestos awareness, handling and eradication — supported by state and territory governments — with a coordinated approach for governments to work together on these fundamental issues. The Council looks forward to working constructively with all levels of government, the agency and stakeholders to further the critically important work of implementing this plan.

Geoff Fary
Chair of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Council

In 2013, the newly formed Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency received a request from the Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon. Eric Abetz, to revise the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Management and Awareness to achieve the support of state and territory governments.

Working with the Department of Employment and the Asbestos Safety and Eradiation Council, the agency has undertaken consultation with the Australian Government, states and territories to prepare the plan for national endorsement. This process ensured the plan is practical, achievable and will support asbestos management and awareness in Australia.

This revised plan (2014-18) focuses on developing evidence to inform practical approaches to asbestos management and awareness. This will be supported by measures to track progress towards eliminating asbestos-related disease and ensure Australia can address the future risks that will be encountered by ageing asbestos-containing material in the built environment.

The agency will support the plan and contribute to a coordination of efforts across all levels of governments where there is a common focus. We will support state and territory asbestos management strategies and plans by sharing information and developing evidence that will inform action.

Peter Tighe
Chief Executive Officer of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency