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Monday, 4 December 2017
Page: 9521


Senator URQUHART (TasmaniaOpposition Whip in the Senate) (16:22): At the request of Senator Singh, I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that this week is National Asbestos Awareness Week,

(ii) the success of this week’s Asbestos Safety and Eradication Summit, which was hosted by the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency at Old Parliament House in Canberra, in reviewing what has been achieved in coordinating and implementing the 2014-18 National Strategic Plan and setting the scene for the next phase of asbestos safety and eradication in Australia’s next National Strategic Plan, and

(iii) that the Government has not committed to ongoing funding for the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency;

(b) further notes:

(i) the ongoing importance of the Parliamentary Friendship Group on Asbestos Related Diseases in raising awareness in Parliament of the asbestos scourge,

(ii) that Australia has one of the highest rates of mesothelioma in the world,

(iii) that as many as 40,000 Australians will be diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease in the next 20 years, and

(iv) that Australians are being exposed to a wide range of imported goods and materials containing asbestos that are not being detected by our customs services, including fibre cement sheets and children’s crayons; and

(c) supports:

(i) the 2017 Asbestos Awareness Month national campaign which aims to inform homeowners, renovators, tradespeople and handymen about the dangers of asbestos in and around homes and how to manage it safely, and

(ii) the recommendations in the recent interim report of the Economics References Committee, Protecting Australians from the threat of asbestos, inquiring into the effects of non-conforming building products on the Australian building and construction industry.