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Mayoral Column - National Asbestos Awareness Month 2022


November is National Asbestos Awareness Month and I encourage you to ‘Be Asbestos Ready’ during National Asbestos Awareness Week 2022 (NAAW) from 21-27 November 2022.

The Government run Asbestos Education Committee, chaired by SafeWork NSW with various NSW and Federal Government agencies, has invited Georges River Council to be part of the 11th National Asbestos Awareness Month campaign to increase awareness of the danger of asbestos when renovating or maintaining homes, particularly amid the continued renovation boom and the trade shortage.

In Australia, an estimated 4,000 people die from asbestos-related disease because of past exposure, including the incurable cancer mesothelioma.

An integral part of improving the management of asbestos is raising asbestos awareness in the community, to help prevent issues such as illegal dumping of asbestos waste.

The “Be Asbestos Ready” campaign developed by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is funded and supported by the NSW Government and has been used by many agencies and local councils. The Commonwealth Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA) is working in close partnership with the EPA to coordinate this campaign in NSW.

The importance of this campaign cannot be overstated with deadly asbestos remaining hidden in one third of homes and with the popularity of renovating continuing to grow in Georges River with the unprecedented lack of tradespersons and the rising costs of labour. Our concern is that homeowners are taking avoidable risks with asbestos, jeopardising their health and the health of others when doing DIY renovations.

Georges River Council, and the former Hurstville and Kogarah Councils, have been supporting this campaign since 2012, and will continue to support this campaign in 2022.

The Asbestos Awareness Month website includes The Ultimate Renovators Guide video, the 20 Point Safety Check, A Homeowner’s Guide to Identifying Asbestos-Containing Materials and A Tradespersons Guide to Asbestos.

I urge you to go to their website and learn what to look out for, especially if you are a DIY renovator or tradesperson; Asbestos in NSW | Asbestos.
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