Camden Council in New South Wales demands support from greater powers

Camden Council in New South Wales has requested that higher bodies of government, such as the State or Federal government, play a greater role in the management and removal of asbestos. This NSW council encourages harsher penalties for people who refuse to comply with asbestos clean-up orders.

This call for help stems from the fact that two homeowners have refused to remove asbestos from their properties, despite being instructed to do so by the Council.

The Council has made progress with one particular Camden South property owner. Asbestos was found in the house after a fire. Once the Council was notified of the dangerous particles, a clean up order was issued, and the insurance company of the asbestos property paid to have the asbestos removed.

However it is more common for property owners to ignore the clean up orders. A house was burnt down last October at Catherine Field, and thereafter asbestos was discovered on the property. Lara Symkowiak, Mayor of Camden, states that the Council issued a clean up direction, however the owners have refused to take action. To this date, the toxic fibres have yet to be removed.

One possible method of addressing the asbestos issue is to have the Council remove it and recover the costs of the removal from the owner. According to Symkowiak, “The costs associated with the clean up of asbestos can be high and the responsibility for compliance should rest with the owner of the site.”

The Council is committed to protecting the health and safety of members of the public. They encourage the State or Federal government to enact legislation that would allow councils to clean-up asbestos and claim the costs as debt against the property.

Asbestos cases in Australia have affected many lives. Many Australians have been diagnosed with mesothelioma in Australia and asbestosis in Australia. Such asbestos conditions in Australia need to be prevented in the future, and the eradication of asbestos in such circumstances as described above is one step on this long process.

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