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Labor welcomes agreement to force James Hardie to pay victims.



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Media Release

Penny Wong Labor Senator for South Australia Shadow Minister for Employment and Workforce Participation, Corporate Governance and Responsibility

5 November, 2004

Labor welcomes agreement to force James Hardie to pay victims

Labor welcomes the agreement of State Attorneys-General to support legislation to force James Hardie to compensate victims if negotiations are unsuccessful, Shadow Minister for Corporate Governance and

Responsibility, Senator Penny Wong said today.

“Given the refusal by James Hardie to properly fund the Foundation responsible for compensating asbestos victims, legislation may be required to force the company to pay,” Senator Wong said.

“The NSW Government’s legislation would wind back the restructuring of James Hardie that was designed to avoid paying asbestos victims.

“The message to James Hardie is: abandoning victims is not an option.”

Senator Wong also urged the Howard Government to come to the party:

“Attorney-General Philip Ruddock previously indicated that the Commonwealth would not allow the corporate restructure adopted by James Hardie to enable the company to avoid its liabilities.

“The James Hardie victims know that talk is cheap. It’s time for the Howard Government to come good on its undertakings.

“I urge James Hardie to do the right thing and agree upon a fully-funded settlement arrangement for asbestos victims,” Senator Wong said.

For further information:

• Penny Wong 08 8223 3388 • John Olenich 0408 841 850