Australian trade unions are calling on the government to make the country completely asbestos-free by 2030.
According to the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), Australia had the highest per capita use of asbestos globally between the 1950’s and 1980’s. After this time, over 9,000 cases of mesothelioma have sprung up in Australia, with the Australian government only banning asbestos use in the workplace eight years ago.
However the Australian government is concerned with the potential costs associated with ridding Australia completely of asbestos, since asbestos can only be removed by licensed abatement professionals, whose time and equipment can be costly. Such costs are necessary to minimize the risk of workers and the public developing mesothelioma, asbestosis or other asbestos-related diseases as a result of the removal work.
The Australian government’s asbestos management review is currently working on a national plan for asbestos removal, with the final report due later this month.
Unfortunately, cases of mesothelioma have occurred in Australia following home handymen undertaking their own work with asbestos products, later developing the asbestos related cancer. Mesothelioma compensation claims have been made in some of such circumstances.