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    Treasurer, Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Treasurer commits extra $400,000 a year for asbestos clean up

    Treasurer, Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Thursday, July 16, 2015

    Treasurer commits extra $400,000 a year for asbestos clean up

    The Palaszczuk Government has created a new asbestos repair fund worth $400,000 a year to carry out urgent rectification works at hazardous properties.

    Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations Curtis Pitt said timely asbestos removal was an important public health and safety issue requiring additional funding.

    “The State Government is committing an extra $400,000 for clean-up of asbestos waste in circumstances where the person responsible for the incident isn’t identifiable or is unable to carry out the necessary clean-up activities,” he said.

    “Nothing’s more important than protecting Queenslanders from the risks posed by asbestos fibres and that’s exactly what this new fund aims to do.”

    Mr Pitt said since 2005, when councils were given responsibility under the Public Health Act 2005 to respond to asbestos complaints in non-workplace areas, most councils struggled to carry out these duties.

    “Councils have been referring these matters to Queensland Health for a response, contending they were not appropriately insured and lacked the necessary resources and skills for this work,” he said.

    “We need to ensure urgent asbestos removal can be carried out at short notice where’s it’s clearly in the interests of public safety.”

    Mr Pitt said the fund is the final piece requested by Councils to enable them to respond to asbestos matters under the Public Health Act, including:

    • Ongoing training for council staff on asbestos;
    • Introducing a legislative indemnity for council staff responding to asbestos complaints; and
    • Consideration of a clean-up fund to allow councils to be reimbursed, over a threshold, for asbestos clean-up costs where the responsible person cannot be pursued.

    He said councils, Queensland Health and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland can seek recovery of asbestos incident clean-up costs within the scope of the scheme.

    Before you disturb any building material you must check whether it is likely to contain asbestos (or assume it does). If it contains asbestos, you must also know how to avoid exposing yourself or others to airborne asbestos fibres.

    For further information visit www.ehp.qld.gov.au or call 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

    Media contact: Martin Philip 0427 919 548