The real cost of asbestos for Australians

Tuesday 14 August 2018
Giorgina McCormack

One in three Australian homes is said to contain asbestos, and home renovators are feeling the financial burden of discovering the deadly material in their properties.

The highly toxic nature of asbestos means that professional removal of the material can cost thousands, but the risk to a person’s health is worth the cost.

In an attempt to address this financial burden, the Asbestos Safety Eradication Agency (ASEA), a Federal Government agency, are suggesting that the Federal Government impose a levy on building materials to help fund the removal of asbestos. ASEA’s CEO, Peter Tighe, suggests that the levy be implemented to provide home owners with the opportunity to take out interest-free loans to fund the safe removal of asbestos in their homes. Tighe says that the suggested tax would be much less than the cost of GST.

All Australians, not just homeowners and those diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease suffer from the financial burden asbestos imposes on the economy. ASEA says the direct cost of asbestos is estimated at $192 million per year in health and primary care costs, and an additional $321 million in loss to the workforce.

ASEA say the only safe and economical way to tackle Australia’s asbestos problem is to actively remove the product so as to protect the public from further incidental exposure.

If you or someone you know have been exposed to asbestos or have developed a dust-related disease, we invite you speak to our asbestos team on (03) 9321 9879.

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