Page 3982 - Week 12 - Thursday, 20 October 2005

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kept in touch with the various asbestos disease interest groups. The ACT is quite sophisticated in its response to these problems but it needs to be sure it works along with those who have been adversely affected by this insidious material.

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Children, Youth and Family Support, Minister for Women and Minister for Industrial Relations) (5.18), in reply: Mr Speaker, this bill will repeal sections 47K and 47L of the Dangerous Substances (Asbestos) Amendment Act 2004 prior to their scheduled commencement on 16 January 2006.

Section 47K of the act requires that an asbestos survey report be obtained when high-risk activities are being undertaken. Section 47L requires that asbestos survey reports be obtained for properties listed for sale. Members may recall that, in light of research undertaken by the ACT Asbestos Taskforce through the extent and impact survey and research of national and international best practice management models, the task force report on asbestos management in the ACT proposed new management regimes for the residential sector, including do-it-yourself renovators, the non-residential sector and trade groups, including the asbestos industry.

This research, in conjunction with extensive community consultation, raised a number of issues that would affect the implementation and effectiveness of sections 47K and 47L. These included, among other things, the limited availability of asbestos assessors and surveyors to prepare asbestos survey reports; the relative high cost to home owners of asbestos reports, and the potential impact on property market valuations for buildings containing asbestos. While the original legislation was well intended, the territory had no real benchmark to measure how the legislation would work in practice. As a result of the wide-ranging consultation and research undertaken by the task force, I believe we have a far more balanced, practical and effective approach to asbestos management and awareness training in the ACT.

In conclusion, the bill will provide time to implement the agreed outcomes of the task force report and ensure there is no confusion in the community about our intentions for the future management of asbestos in the ACT. I look forward to presenting a new legislative package to implement the proposed asbestos management reforms to this Assembly during the Autumn 2006 sitting. I would like to thank members of the asbestos task force for their work, the officers that support the task force, as it remains, and the officers of the CMD for putting together advice and the amendment bill we are debating today.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

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