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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 3 Hansard (30 March) . . Page.. 836..

  • MS GALLAGHER (continuing):
  • "asbestos removalist class A", which authorises work in relation to all asbestos; and

  • "asbestos removalist class B", which authorises work in relation to bonded asbestos only.

These measures will greatly emphasise the importance of the health and safety requirements surrounding work involving asbestos and will formally recognise the new proposed training standards for this occupation. As a consequence of these provisions, the work of a builder will no longer encompass asbestos building work, as that type of work is intended to be the kind of work provided in the occupation of asbestos removalist. To assist builders who wish to continue to have a capability to perform asbestos work, the bill proposes transitional arrangements in order to allow those builders sufficient time-in fact, up to 12 months from the time the training is made available-to obtain the training and the new asbestos removalist licence without disruption to their current arrangements.

At the present time there is no licensing regime for asbestos assessors. Therefore, there are limited options available to ensure that assessors who operate in the ACT are doing so in accordance with recognised standards and practice. Given the sensitive nature of conducting asbestos assessments, a licensed regime would allow greater regulation of the industry and protect both assessors and consumers.

As a consequence, the bill proposes amendments to COLA to establish a new occupation of asbestos assessor and will also have two classes:

  • "asbestos assessor class A", who will provide an asbestos assessment service to make reports on the location, type and condition of asbestos identified in buildings, assess the risk the identified asbestos presents, and advise on how the asbestos should be managed. A class A assessor will also be able to do anything allowed to be done under a class B licence; and

  • "asbestos assessor class B", who will be licensed to undertake field surveys, take samples and identify the location, type and condition of asbestos in buildings for the purposes of providing that information to the class A assessor.

Amendments are also proposed by this bill to the Civil Law (Sale of Residential Property) Act 2003, the Dangerous Substances Act 2004 and the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 to require the disclosure of asbestos assessment reports and asbestos advice forms by owners of residential properties at key transaction points. The bill proposes that, if an asbestos assessment report is obtained for a residential property, it will be required to be made available by owners either with a building approval application when entering into a residential tenancy agreement or a contract for sale of a residential property, or when engaging a tradesperson to provide a construction service or do renovation work at the premises.

The government recognises that, due to equity issues, it is not possible to fully embrace any report undertaken prior to the commencement of this legislation within the new regime. However, the government believes that responsible homeowners will still

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