Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Asbestos experts deployed to cyclone clean-up

    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Asbestos experts deployed to cyclone clean-up

    Asbestos experts have been deployed in far north Queensland to help councils, residents and businesses clean up after Cyclone Yasi.

    Industrial Relations Minister Cameron Dick said extra inspectors from the Office of Fair and Safe Work Queensland had been sent to areas affected by Cyclone Yasi to provide advice on handling asbestos safely.

    “Asbestos-containing materials are likely to be present in many older buildings in northern Queensland because of widespread use there in the past; so it’s important all necessary precautions are taken to minimise risk,” Mr Dick said.

    “We have sent four inspectors to far north Queensland, bolstering our complement of more than 40 Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and Electrical Safety Office inspectors based in Townsville, Innisfail and Cairns. Extra resources will be deployed if needed in coming weeks."

    State Government inspectors will also work with local councils to help plan the removal, transportation and disposal of asbestos material.

    “Inspectors will visit damaged properties to give residents free advice on the safe handling and disposal of asbestos,” Mr Dick said.

    “Any sheds or buildings built before 1990 are likely to have some asbestos-containing materials in them so if they’ve been damaged, be very cautious when cleaning up.

    “It’s best to err on the side of caution, assume that asbestos is present and treat it as such by wearing protective gear, keeping the material damp and handling it with care, as fibres can be released into the air through sawing, drilling or breaking it up.”

    Information is available from local councils, from,, and by calling 1300 369 915.

    Mr Dick said Workplace Health and Safety Queensland’s flood clean-up safety advice hotline had been extended to help cyclone-affected communities. The hotline, operating 7am to 7pm daily, is 1800 177 717.

    Media contact: Attorney-General and Industrial Relations Minister 3239 3487