07 June 2013

The Gillard Labor Government has today opened the first National Asbestos Exposure Register.

Australia was the most prolific user of asbestos containing material in the world. It is estimated that 1 in 3 homes built in Australia between the end of the Second World War and 1987 contain asbestos.

Because asbestos was used so widely in Australia, in public buildings and in house construction, in the shipping industry, Australia has the highest reported per capita incidence of asbestos-related disease in the world.

The Register captures the details of members of the community who think they may have been exposed to asbestos containing materials.

The purpose of the register is to have a record of potential exposure in case an individual develops an asbestos related disease in the future.

The National Asbestos Exposure Register captures details including where and when the potential exposure occurred and details of any diagnoses of any asbestos-related diseases.

The Gillard Labor Government views the identification and removal of asbestos as an absolute priority.

The Government is determined to ensure Australia is a world leader in the safe removal of asbestos containing materials in homes and workplaces.

In 2010 the Gillard Government commissioned the Asbestos Management Review. The Government accepted and has since implemented all of the recommendations of the Review.

The Gillard Government has elevated asbestos to the national stage by establishing from July 1 this year, Australia’s first national Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency which will replace the Office of Asbestos Safety.

The Agency will implement a comprehensive plan for action on asbestos safety and eradication, the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Management and Awareness.

The register is managed by the Office of Asbestos Safety and is available on its website at

If residents or businesses wish to report suspected asbestos containing material please call the national occupational health and safety regulator, Comcare, on 1800 888 468.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kimberley Gardiner 0427 138 106