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Unions welcome funding to tackle asbestos
TODAY the ACTU welcomed $6.4 million Federal funding for the new Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency to implement the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management.
ACTU Assistant Secretary Michael Borowick said asbestos has caused a horrific death toll and suffering in Australia, which had the highest per capita use of asbestos in the world.
Mr Borowick said the impact of asbestos-related diseases was not expected to peak until 2020.
“The funding will go towards reducing future deaths from asbestos-related disease with another 30-40,000 people expected to be diagnosed in the next 20 years.”
“Unions have campaigned for decades about the dangers and have successfully banned it from Australia and helped secure long term compensation for people affected by asbestos-related disease.”
“The plan aims to identify and grade all asbestos by 2018, including getting all asbestos out of government buildings by 2030. This is what unions and the Australian people want: safe homes, safe workplaces and safe communities.”
Mr Borowick said too many people had already lost their lives through exposure in the workplace. “The impetus to act is urgent.”