Australian Senate committee makes recommendations to tighten asbestos ban

27 Nov 2017 by under News

AustralianCoatofArms 100x100 Australian Senate committee makes recommendations to tighten asbestos banAn Australian Senate Committee is urging the federal government to more strictly enforce its ban on asbestos in an interim report released last week.

Included in its more than two dozen recommendations were the need to increase prosecution of illegal asbestos importing; the need for a new mandatory testing regime, and the need for tighter importation rules, according to the Australian Associated Press.

“The committee believes that increasing the number of successful prosecutions and reviewing the quantum of penalties would have a significant deterrent effect on the illegal importation of asbestos,” the report said.

Australia has had a ban in place on asbestos-containing products since 2003, which the Australian Border Force (ABF) is responsible for enforcing. Another recommendation called on the government to consider creating a special unit within the ABF to specifically manage illegal asbestos imports. The news source also notes that the review calls for the government to issue mandatory product recalls where asbestos is found and issue an explanation within a month if one isn’t issued.

However, a dissenting report from members of the senate inquiry noted the ASB has beefed up its efforts and have not seen an increase in detection rates due to the change. According to The Courier Mail, those in the majority pointed to the long list of products recently discovered to contain asbestos for their reasoning. Asbestos-tainted products include engine and exhaust gaskets, crayons, finger printing dust in a detective game, metal skirting and more. Because China does not technically identify chrysotile, the most common form of asbestos, as asbestos, the ban can be skirted. The report calls for provisions to prevent the loophole in free trade agreements.

Comments are closed.