Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 14 August 2018) . . Page.. 2815 ..
Alongside the work of the taskforce, WorkSafe ACT continues to work towards ensuring compliance with legislation relating to asbestos removal and eradication. The following activities have been undertaken for the reporting period 2017-18: 2,959 notifications were received for asbestos removal works in the ACT for both friable and non-friable asbestos, 139 of which related to the eradication scheme.
WorkSafe ACT has continued to maintain an asbestos team for the reporting period to ensure the regulatory compliance of the loose-fill asbestos insulation eradication scheme. WorkSafe ACT undertook 843 Mr Fluffy-related inspections for removal and demolitions for the end of financial year to June 2018. This included regulatory compliance of two private demolitions.
WorkSafe has engaged residents who remain in their affected properties to help them comply with WHS regulations to update asbestos contamination reports, or ACRs. Those residents have been sent guidance and information by post, along with follow-up by phone by a dedicated inspector. Currently 53 affected properties remain occupied in the ACT, and WorkSafe continues to work with the residents of those 53 properties to encourage self-compliance.
Unit 1 at the Ainslie Shops has undergone removal of the bulk loose-fill asbestos in the roof cavity without incident. The project was completed with minimal disruption to the business. The Ainslie shops has undergone a further environmental cleansing in the roof cavity at numbers 3 and 5, with a full roof replacement and refurbishment of the entire roof from number 1 to 7 inclusive. WorkSafe engaged with owners of the building during this process to ensure compliance with WHS regulations and asbestos removal codes of practice. WorkSafe continues to engage businesses in the Ainslie shopping precinct after the removal and refurbishment works.
WorkSafe has been actively involved in the removal works undertaken at Campbell and Narrabundah schools during the reporting period, providing regulatory guidance to the Education Directorate relating to asbestos eradication without incident.
WorkSafe successfully prosecuted a warehouse owner in Fyshwick for not following appropriate control measures during the high-pressure cleaning of a corrugate roof containing asbestos. The owner was ordered by the Industrial Magistrate to repay the ACT government costs of cleaning and remediation, totalling $249,637.08, with a conviction recorded.
WorkSafe continues to engage with contractors on the NBN rollout to ensure the safe removal of asbestos pits is undertaken under agreed arrangements with the regulator. WorkSafe is currently overseeing the safe removal of asbestos meter boards during the power of choice program for electrical metering replacement and/or renewal.
As members know, asbestos was frequently used in building materials in Australia until the mid to late 1980s. The use of materials containing asbestos lessened after this time until it was banned in 2004. It has been used in ACT government schools, and the ACT government remains committed to the ongoing management and removal, as required, of materials containing asbestos in school buildings.