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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
    The Honourable Grace Grace

    Asbestos Awareness Week highlights hidden dangers in older homes

    Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
    The Honourable Grace Grace

    Tuesday, November 22, 2016

    Asbestos Awareness Week highlights hidden dangers in older homes

    Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace today launched National Asbestos Awareness Week (21-25 November) in Brisbane. 

    Ms Grace was joined by Asbestos Safety Advocates Julie and Don Sager, who tragically lost their son Adam to mesothelioma aged just 25 following exposure to asbestos during a home renovation. 

    “An estimated one-in-three homes contains asbestos in Australia, so it’s vital that tradies and DIYers alike understand how to work with the old building material safely,” she said. 

    “Raising awareness of asbestos safety is aimed squarely at keeping Queenslanders free from the terrible diseases this material can cause.

    “Deaths from asbestos-related diseases remain a sad reality, as it can take many years for the symptoms to emerge and in many cases people aren’t even aware that they’ve been working with asbestos materials. 

    "Although it’s safe if in good condition and left alone, asbestos can be very dangerous once you start drilling into it, or breaking it up. 

    “These are just the kind of jobs that electricians, renovators, home handymen or builders might do.”

    Ms Grace said along with Julie and Don Sager, Queensland’s Asbestos Ambassador Trevor Gillmeister was spreading the asbestos safety message. 

    “Gilly works hard all year round to get asbestos safety messages to people in communities across the state,” she said. 

    “For him, raising awareness is a personal commitment - a few years ago he lost his father to an asbestos-related disease, which he contracted through his work as a boiler-maker.” 

    During November, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland got together with local councils and hardware stores to put on workshops and safety demonstrations across the state for tradies and do-it-yourself enthusiasts. 

    For more information about working safely with asbestos, visit qld.gov.au/asbestos or call 13 QGOV (13 7468). 

    Media contact: Martin Philip 0427 919 548