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Asbestos imports scandal: new laws to demand mandatory testing

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ASBESTOS IMPORTS SCANDAL: NEW LAWS TO DEMAND MANDATORY TESTING WHAT: Media conference Senator Nick Xenophon and President Asbestos Victims Association SA Terry Miller.

WHEN: 12.00pm today (Adelaide time).

WHERE: Asbestos Victims Association SA, Level 3, 60 Waymouth St, Adelaide.

Senator Nick Xenophon will introduce legislation to require mandatory testing of all products that may contain asbestos from countries that have failed to have appropriate regulatory and certification measures in place.

The call follows scandals involving products containing asbestos flooding into Australia, including building materials used at the Perth Children's Hospital.

Senator Xenophon was highly critical of Border Force not allocating the resources and effort needed to tackle the issue.

The legislative move follows an independent review by Swedish firm KGH Border Services which will be released today on Australia’s asbestos border control management.

Senator Xenophon is a patron of the Asbestos Victims Association of SA, and in 2005 his Private Member's Bill on asbestos compensation measures was passed in the SA Parliament, providing a sweeping overhaul of compensation measures for victims and their families.

"It is a scandal that products containing asbestos are still getting into this country," Nick said. "Any country that has dodgy certification and regulatory measures should be on a watch list that requires testing of all of those products before they get through our borders. Otherwise we could be expecting a tsunami of asbestos related years in decades to come, given the up to 5 year latency period with asbestos exposure."

No publication date - received by Parl Library 4 August 2016

The legislation to be introduced next month will also include more stringent fines and jail terms for people knowingly or recklessly importing asbestos products into the country.

For more information contact Karina Natt 0433 620 850