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Preventing the risk of asbestos exposure is important to all Australians. While the states and territories have taken steps to minimise exposure, predominantly in the workplace, this is the first time a national approach to asbestos eradication, handling and awareness is being pursued. The National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Management and Awareness (the plan) is a high level forward looking document. This establishes a framework within which the states and territories are able to work cooperatively and independently to achieve set objectives. The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency oversees the coordination of the plan and over the life of the plan will provide insights into the dimensions of asbestos management and eradication across Australia’s public health, environment, planning, work health and safety, emergency services and research sectors. This will progress Australia toward the ultimate elimination of asbestos-related disease.
The plan supports coordinating common efforts across governments with a strong focus on facilitating information sharing. The plan will not direct or duplicate the content of any state, territory or local government plans.
The issues around asbestos safety, awareness and management are complex and multi-faceted. Many of the issues covered by this plan, in particular identification and removal, will require all levels of government to work together to determine the best approach to this task. The plan provides a framework that supports all levels of government to prevent the risks of asbestos exposure and work towards the elimination of asbestos-related disease.