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Thursday 22nd April 2021

Apr 22nd 2021

Thursday 22nd April 2021

Building boom in Victoria leads to massive asbestos disposal challenge. 

Due to a building boom in Victoria, the challenge of removing and disposing of asbestos is tipped to rise from 178,000 tonnes handled annually to over 310,000 by the end of the decade, according to the state government’s latest Asbestos Disposal Management plan.

Thanks to a post-COVID boom in housing construction and major projects, specialists have warned the problem of finding and removing asbestos from the ground and buildings has only just begun.

The dangerous material being found increasingly in schools and renovated homes has resulted in remediators doubling their workloads. Money being channelled into new development sites across Melbourne’s north and west are now being built on what were previously landfill sites.

Dale Smith, managing director of environmental consulting company SCAADA, said that delays and blowouts would be faced by vital projects because of asbestos in the soil.

'The old method was just to bury it in a hole but now that storage capacity has started to close up,' he said.

There are currently only 21 landfills that accept asbestos across the entire state, and this could reduce to only seven locations over the next 30 years.

‘The longer this stuff is buried there’s a risk the soil around it becomes contaminated … Soil remediation is going to be the next frontier of the asbestos issue.

‘The smart developers and builders are taking that on board because it significantly delays their projects.’

Thanks to new technology, specialist companies can now separate asbestos and toxic materials from the ground, removing the issue of landfill related problems for builders that have delayed other major projects.

The full story can be found on the Herald Sun website.

Ballarat community pays tribute to fallen workers and their families. 

A memorial to commemorate the lives of two men who tragically lost their lives in a workplace accident has received a $50,000 contribution from the Labour Government.

The men's families have tirelessly advocated for strengthened workplace safety since the accident in 2018, which has factored towards the development of the Labor Government’s landmark workplace manslaughter laws.

The laws, which came into effect in July 2020, make workplace manslaughter a criminal offence carrying tough new penalties, which can include fines of up to $16.5 million for companies and up to 25 years in jail for individuals deemed as negligent employers.

The criteria for what defines a workplace death has also broadened to work-related transport incidents, industrial disease, criminal acts, and medical or suicide incidents, which also means more families affected by the loss of loved ones can access support services.

'One workplace death is one too many. We must continue to work closely with workers and families to prevent tragedies like this from occurring so that every worker can come home from work safely at the end of each day.' stated Minister for Workplace Safety Ingrid Stitt.

Read the full story on the Mirage News website.

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