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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
    The Honourable Jarrod Bleijie

    Warnings for residents during Cyclone Ita clean up

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
    The Honourable Jarrod Bleijie

    Monday, April 14, 2014

    Warnings for residents during Cyclone Ita clean up

    Residents have been urged to be aware of scammers and asbestos as they begin to clean up after Tropical Cyclone Ita.

    Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said residents should be particularly wary of door-to-door repairmen.

    “Queenslanders’ are famous for rolling up their sleeves and helping out when disaster strikes but sadly some people use it as an opportunity to prey on residents,” Mr Bleijie said.

    “Door-to-door scammers can offer roof repairs, clean-up services, tree lopping and resurfacing of damaged driveways, but they often leave the home owner worse off with shoddy workmanship.

    “Consumers are usually protected by a 10 business day cooling-off period, but it is waived during declared natural disasters to allow home owners to access emergency repairs.

    “Offers made door-to-door or demands of up-front cash payments for repair work should raise red flags.

    “Sadly, other scammers take advantage Queenslanders’ generosity by pretending to fundraise for disaster victims. They’ve done it after past disasters and we must unfortunately assume they’ll try again this time.

    “It is important to check that a charity is registered by searching the Queensland Charities and Associations Online Register on the Office of Fair Trading website.”

    More information can be found at www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

    Mr Bleijie said residents should also be aware of the hidden danger of asbestos in flood affected buildings.

    “Cleaning up and rebuilding quickly is important when it’s your home and business but you shouldn’t put your life at risk in doing so,” he said.

    “Houses and other buildings built before 1990 may contain asbestos materials, and residents are urged to be careful when cleaning up.

    “To protect yourself, wear appropriate personal protective equipment and keep asbestos materials wet where possible during removal. Avoid breaking asbestos material and handle it with care as fibres can be released into the air, especially through sawing and drilling.

    “Don’t use high pressured hoses or gurneys to clean asbestos-containing materials.

    “If in doubt, or if you are removing more than 10 square metres (10 m2), you must get a licensed asbestos removal contractor.

    “The Government made a commitment to Queenslanders that we would deliver better infrastructure and planning and we recently released the most comprehensive and rigorous asbestos management strategy in the country.

    “Among the reforms is the development of mechanisms within local disaster management plans to identify responsibility for asbestos issues and communication with the public during natural disasters.”

    More information about asbestos management can be found online at: http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/asbestos/

    [ENDS] 14 April 2014

    Media Contact: Ashley McDermid 0412 731 355 or Jaime Wells 0409 624 139