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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 10 Hansard (24 September) . .

Page.. 3118..


MR BARR: The government has made no such decision at this time.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Lawder.

MS LAWDER: Minister, what upgrades will the government make to the existing convention centre in the interim and what will the cost of these upgrades be?

MR BARR: That is seeking an announcement of government policy, which I will not be making today.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Lawder.

MS LAWDER: Minister, what impact will the postponement of this project have on projected visitor numbers for the ACT?

MR BARR: None.

Asbestos—worker safety

MS BERRY: My question is to the minister for workplace safety. Minister, what measures have been taken to ensure worker safety surrounding asbestos exposure in the ACT?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Berry for her question. The ACT government has been working hard to ensure the safety of both residents and workers who have a risk of coming into contact with all forms of asbestos. Of course, the handling of asbestos—in any form—is legislated for under the Dangerous Substances Act 2004. All commercial premises in the ACT which have asbestos present in any form are mandated to maintain and update an asbestos management plan. This helps to ensure that any asbestos fibres which may be present in commercial buildings are consistently monitored to ensure the risk level does not increase.

The asbestos management plan must be available at each commercial premises and accessible by any tradesperson who is required to undertake work at a commercial premises. This has been a very effective way of disclosing important information prior to any work commencing across the city in commercial premises.

As the Assembly is well aware, the Chief Minister established the asbestos response task force in June this year. The ACT government, through the task force, has been working tirelessly to respond to the needs of those affected by loose-fill asbestos in just over 1,000 houses across Canberra—commonly referred to as Mr Fluffy houses. The task force has also been providing advice and support for those who have or will undertake work on homes which contain Mr Fluffy, such as tradespeople.

Affected home owners have also been reminded that they are legally obliged to notify any tradespeople or other workers who visit the house of any assessments which might have been done. We have also recently amended legislation to require owners of these homes to tag their meter box and switchboard to clearly identify to


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