National Asbestos Awareness Week

Published on Friday, 26 November 2021 at 1:17:00 PM

One in three homes nationwide have been built with asbestos, according to the Australian Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency.

In recognition of National Asbestos Awareness Week, which aims to raise awareness about the health risks associated with exposure to asbestos fibres, Shire of Mundaring continues to pledge commitment to the safe removal and disposal of asbestos.

An initiative which started in 2000 has helped to identify and prioritise Shire buildings and facilities with degraded asbestos. Fifteen buildings have since either had roofs or other components replaced while six have been demolished.

Twenty two years later, the Shire has 16 buildings with relatively minor amounts of asbestos left on its asbestos register. In the coming years, this material will also be replaced with alternative, safe products.

The roof of the Shire Administration Building is just one place where asbestos has been removed.

A cheap building material, asbestos was regularly used in construction between 1940 and 1980, it has now been proven harmful to humans.

Duty of Care

Shire of Mundaring Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan Throssell, said the Shire took its duty of care to asbestos management seriously.

"We have worked hard to prioritise the safe removal and renovation of asbestos-clad buildings, and have taken every safety precaution to protect contractors, residents and the environment," he said.

"However, it is imperative to mention that while asbestos can be dangerous, it can still be safely left in homes if it is undisturbed, sealed and intact. You do not need to fear it."

Under Western Australian law, it is illegal to reuse, resell and harmfully dispose of asbestos.

In conjunction with the State legislation, upcoming legislative Federal frameworks around the current use of asbestos in Australia are under review.

Shire of Mundaring has this week begun demolition of the old Stoneville Fire Training School, which is filled with asbestos.

A specialist asbestos removal team has been engaged to ensure the safe, legal removal of this material.

Consult a building inspector

Mr Throssell said before starting any renovation works, property owners should consult with building inspectors to mitigate the risk of asbestos exposure.

Learn more

National Asbestos Awareness Week runs until 28 November, with further information available on the National Asbestos Safety website.

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