asbestoswise David Clement in Hobart to Discuss Bill May 2013

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1 Asbestos Act Read in the House In March we welcomed the news that a Bill for an Act to establish the Asbestos Safety and EradicaVon Agency, and for related purposes, was introduced to and read in the House of RepresentaVves by Bill Shorten, Minister for Employment and Workplace RelaVons, (20/3/2013). This Bill provides for the establishment of a navonal agency, known as the Asbestos Safety and EradicaVon Agency as recommended by the Asbestos Management Review Report of June The Agency will be responsible for, among other things, coordinavng, and reporvng on the implementavon of the NaVonal Strategic Plan, publishing and promovng this plan, liaising with Commonwealth, State, Territory and local and other governments, agencies or bodies about the implementavon, review or amendment of the NaVonal Strategic Plan and monitoring and promovng research about asbestos safety. The Agency will be comprised of a Chief ExecuVve Officer and support staff. Bill Shorten, at the end of the second reading speech, made a hear[elt plea to the House with the following words. There are many children not yet! born who will die of asbestos related diseases. We owe it to future generavons to finally come to grips with the plight of asbestos in Australia. As we date this bill, let me reinforce that it is an issue for all levels of government to tackle Many lives are counvng on us. asbestoswise The bill will proceed for debate in the next signg of Parliament this month and it is intended that the new Agency will be operavonal from 1 July Watch this space! The Hon Bill Shorten MP, Minister for Employment and Workplace Rela=ons David Clement in Hobart to Discuss Bill Asbestoswise Ross House Level 2, Flinders Lane MELBOURNE VICTORIA 3000 T: E: W: On 23 April Asbestoswise President, David Clement was a witness to the Senate EducaVon, Employment and Workplace RelaVons LegislaVon CommiYee in Hobart on the Asbestos Safety and EradicaVon Agency Bill The members in ayendance were senators Chris Back, Catryna Bilyk and Gavin Marshall (who chaired the commiyee). David was asked to enlighten the commiyee on the role of Asbestoswise in the community and to put forward his ideas on how the Agency would benefit future generavons in making Australia far more aware and vigilant in regards to asbestos- related issues. David explained that the Asbestos Management Review was an excellent and thorough piece of work, and we believe that the recommendavons should be accepted. Looking at the legislavon, we do not necessarily see that that is spelt out in black and white, and we would prefer that it were. He went on to provide examples of grey areas such as costs. Those [costs] involved in the running of the Agency were clear, he said, however he expressed interest in how they would be applied across the board. Furthermore, David outlined the importance of representavon of all interested parves, i.e. the asbestos support groups, the unions and the Cancer Council. At the complevon of his recommendavons he stressed the great importance of having a broad government approach to medical research and the involvement of the Health Department in promovng it. Perhaps to humanise the issue of asbestos issues to the commiyee David provided a simple, yet, harrowing account of a locksmith who had recently been exposed to asbestos. Halfway through drilling into a door to replace a lock, he novced that the dust had changed colour from brown to white, and due to poor light, it took 20 minutes for it to dawn on him that he had been breathing in asbestos dust. We are grateful to David for his representavon in Hobart and we are certain that his honest and hear[elt remarks were of great worth to the cause.

2 Asbestoswise Welcomes its New CEO We are delighted to announce that Josh Fergeus has become the new CEO of Asbestoswise. Josh started with us at the beginning of April and quickly took the reigns. We asked him about his vision, beliefs and passion. I'm developing new plans for Asbestoswise almost every day at the moment. The CommiYee of Management and I hope to communicate these plans to members more fully and invite feedback in due course. At present I'm ensuring the basics are in place we need to be running a helpful, efficient, accountable office and helpline, and strengthening relavonships with our funding partners. The next steps will include broadening our fundraising horizons and lobbying on key legislavon which will be voted upon in the Federal parliament. 4. You have a wealth of experience working in foster care. Tell us about that. I'm an accredited foster carer and have worked in training and policy roles to do with foster care and child rights for the past 7 years. Last year I travelled to the United NaVons in Geneva to speak at the annual day on the ConvenVon on the Rights of the Child. It's extremely rewarding to be a part of, but consistently challenging to be confronted with how our society regularly fails our most vulnerable children and young people. 5. What are you really passionate about? What really drives you? 1. What was your interest in becoming the new EO at Asbestoswise? I'm a passionate believer in social jusvce. To me, the issue of asbestos and asbestos- related diseases represents part of the struggle for compassion, equality and mutual commitment within our communives. I want a safer, fairer future for all people, and part of that is dealing with the grim history of our use of asbestos and it's ramificavons now and into the future. 2. What was your interest in studying psychology at university? In doing a Bachelor of Teaching did you ini=ally dream of becoming a teacher? I've always found psychology fascinavng, especially social psychology. I love understanding how people work and why we all do what we do. It's proven very useful in my work over the years and convnues to be a passion. I very much enjoyed my teaching rounds and I was fully expecvng to enter the teaching profession following university. However, my mother had been a foster carer throughout my teenage years, and I ended up entering the full- Vme workforce training adults in the social work sector. In case you can't tell I've always been a fighter. If I see something which I don't believe is right I'm always going to stand up and do something about it. I'm also a reader, a keen theatre- goer, and a lover of wine. 6. Do you see the establishment of the Asbestos Safety and Eradica=on Agency as being the turning point in the way that asbestos issues are dealt with in Australia? It certainly has the potenval. Gains were made in 2003 with the ban on importavon, but there's a long way to go. My hope is that the navonal body created by this legislavon, should it pass, is funded properly to discharge it's wide- ranging duves. 7. When you have some =me off, which is probably not very oten, how do you spend it? I spend Vme with my family, try and catch up with friends, and cook and explore what Melbourne has to offer with my partner, Steph. 8. Do you catergorize yourself as an op=mist, pessimist, realist or, perhaps, cynical op=mist? 3. How do see Asbestoswise in the coming year? What plans do you have for the organiza=on to ensure it grows? How would you like to create greater awareness of our presence? Asbestoswise to Work with DoH Asbestoswise is proud to announce that we have been successful in applying for a Health CondiVon Support Grant from the Victorian Department of Health. We would sincerely like to thank the Honourable David Davis MP, Minister for Health, and the Department for their support. I'm probably a cynical opvmist. A realist. I always believe we can achieve beyer, but I know it can oqen be a long, hard road to get there. This grant will enable us to expand and bolster our exisvng support program. At present Asbestoswise runs two monthly support groups in South Melbourne as well as some limited one- to- one outreach. In the new financial year we will be increasing the coverage of our support program to other areas of Melbourne and regional Victoria thanks to the addivonal capacity provided by this grant. It's an excivng Vme for the organisavon. We look forward to reaching out to more Victorians who have been touched by an asbestos- related disease.

3 White Asbestos Making Headlines Events surrounding chryso0le (white) asbestos have been so ubiquitous in recent months that it has become almost like a super an0- hero on the pages of publica0ons worldwide. Here are three recent stories which have made headlines. CANADA Canada has finally shut down its asbestos industry with the Canadian government s Economic AcVon Plan 2013 promising regions, where mining occurred, $50 million for economic diversificavon efforts. Although the last mine was closed in November 2011, it was not unvl autumn of 2012 when a new government in Quebec refused to loan the asbestos industry money and instead decided to invest it back into the community. Now, with no open mines, no money and no polivcal support it is really game over for the asbestos industry in Canada. Of course many people would argue that it has taken far too long for Canada to turn its back on the industry, however whenever you put money into the equavon (in 1990 exports were worth $645 million before falling to $41 million in 2011) polivcal sanity can oqen be conveniently brushed under the carpet. Furthermore, there was also the hypocrisy of the pracvce of we won t use asbestos in our country but we will be happy to mine it for you and send it to your country where you can use it. And so it was that countries like India and Indonesia would import large amounts of the 150,000 tonnes of asbestos which Canada shipped from its shores. It is our opinion that the words Canadian government and asbestos will be synonymous with each other in the most negavve of senses for a long Vme to come. potenvally lucravve therefore players are keen to promote their wares in the most posivve light possible. One site, in parvcular, on the Internet leaves the reader with absolutely no doubt about where the interests of the author lie. Enter ChrysoVle Undeniable Facts into Google and you will be presented with a 60- page PDF containing Vtles such as ChrysoVle An EssenVal Commodity, The AnV- Asbestos Lobby Looking out for your health or their wealth? and The 100,000 Annual Death Myth, as well as overly used clichés such as alarmist posivons, smear campaigns and public panic. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, there is no indicavon of either the author of the project or the body which authorized and funded it. All we know for sure is that it was created in the USA and is oqen blatantly anv- European. ( If the European and other countries markets can allow themselves the luxury of using more expensive, less durable and oqen unregulated products, it is their business, but this fact should be a mayer of concern to all and certainly not an example to follow. ) CHINA One of the most thought- provoking and in- depth reports about the affects of white asbestos exposure is a report of a study released at the end of 2012 by the Pneumoconiosis CompensaVon Fund Board, Hong Kong SAR, China. For 37 years a cohort of 586 males and 279 females from a chrysovle texvle factory in China was progressively followed. The aim of the analysis was to provide a complete picture of the cause- specific deaths observed in this cohort, and to make a comparison of the mortality rates between males and females. The following results were found:- There were 96 deaths in males from all cancers two Vmes higher than the navonal average. Significantly higher rates of mortality were observed from cancer of small intesvne, larynx, lung cancer, mesothelioma, thymus cancer and penis. UKRAINE Debate about the potenval health risks of chrysovle exposure has raged for years and if a scandal at a conference in Kiev at the end of last year is anything to go by, this debate will convnue for some Vme. The root of the conflict in Ukraine was connected with the parvcipavon of the InternaVonal Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in a conference envtled Chrysolite Asbestos: Risk Assessment and Management. Opponents believed that the organisers of the conference had strong Ves with the Russian asbestos industry and that the IARC s involvement there was both contradictory and unethical. The presence of any Ves between the organisers and the Russians proved to be unfounded however this event again highlighted the distrust between those who are for and against the use of chrysovle. PoliVcally, the chrysovle industry has tried to save face by blocking chrysovle from being added to the UN list of hazardous substances under the RoYerdam ConvenVon. Canada, which tradivonally always blocked its addivon, may now change its mind (see related arvcle below) however in 2013 Russia will, for the first Vme have the power to veto chrysovle s lisvng therefore the jury s svll out on that one. Financially, the industry is svll Mortality from either larynx and lung cancer was four Vmes the navonal average and there were elevated mortality from leukemia and kidney cancer. 37 men and 3 women died from asbestosis accounvng for a major cause of deaths in respiratory diseases. Altogether 127 males and 23 females in the cohort were diagnosed as having asbestosis with a prevalence of 22% and 8%, respecvvely. Mortality from pulmonary heart disease was also significantly increased. It is worthy of note that these results were consistent with studies done on chrysovle- exposed workers in both South Carolina in the United States and Quebec. Deborah Vallance, the NaVonal OHS Coordinator at the AMWU, believes that this report is of great importance. The study was able to characterize the type of asbestos that the workers were exposed to. It really helps with the arguments put forward that in many studies, the asbestos which workers were exposed to was a mixture and therefore the ill effects were due to non- chrysovle asbestos

4 Neighbourhood Asbestos Watch RenovaVon/demoliVon is a common event in the suburbs although at Asbestoswise we have novced that the number of calls from people complaining about their neighbours work ethics more than doubles in January and February and this is probably due to the fact that people are on holiday and have decided to do some work on their house and also that their neighbours have also taken Vme off and have more Vme to novce what is going on next door and as a result more Vme to think about the possible risks that the work involves. No mayer what Vme of the year it is every householder should understand their rights in the case that they feel that their neighbours are cugng corners and should not be afraid to act. Far too oqen do we hear of people barricading themselves in their own homes for fear of exposure to dust being emiyed from a neighbouring property, therefore if you have grounds to believe that the work being carried out is of inferior quality ACT! required to novfy householders of their presence, although they are obliged to novfy other employers at the site or adjacent to the site of the asbestos removal. However, if you ask the removalists the name of their organizavon they shouldn t have problems telling you, unless they have something to hide. WHEN THE NEIGHBOUR IS REMOVING ASBESTOS If neighbours are doing a shoddy job then you must call your local council. As for the chief environmental health officer and demand a site inspecvon and assessment so as to determine compliance with the Building Act 1993 and that a public health risk does not exist. A non- compliance issue with the Building Act is to be managed by the building department. If dust is visible and the material is being mishandled the council must serve a nuisance novce in accordance with the nuisance provisions of the Health Act 1958 direcvng that work cease unvl the issues are managed. An assessment may need to be undertaken by the owner of the property to idenvfy the asbestos material so as to ensure that it is removed separately before the demolivon convnues. WHEN A REMOVALIST IS REMOVING ASBESTOS SPEAK TO THE NEIGHBOUR DIRECTLY Do remember that if you are planning on using the aggressive gung- ho method with your neighbor you could be segng yourself up for a rather acrimonious life of cohabitavon, so do try and speak to them first about the work that they are doing and whether they are using a removalist. The removalist is not Support Group News Removalists working on a neighbour s site are workers making it a work site therefore WorkSafe must be contacted even though the complaint is directed at residenval premises. Ask for the building department and state that you want to ensure compliance with the OccupaVonal Safety and Health Act 1984 and the OccupaVonal Safety and Health RegulaVons The removalists must inform WorkSafe of the work that they are carrying out, although Worksafe permits the unlicensed removal of limited amounts of non- friable asbestos under certain circumstances. However, if dust is being created then this would certainly not be such a circumstance. Worksafe: (03) or (toll free) Our Support Group meevngs convnue to be well supported and we were very fortunate to welcome Lyle Oates, a PalliaVve Care Nurse with Bethlehem Community PalliaVve Care Services to join us for our March meevng. Lyle shared some valuable informavon with us regarding PalliaVve Care and the role of the PalliaVve Care Nurse on our journey, and her knowledge was much appreciated by all who ayended. March also saw the launch of the Australian Lung FoundaVon/Peter Mac DVD Mesothelioma Understanding, Managing, Living - A PaVent InformaVon DVD. On 25 March both Lyall WaYs [Asbestoswise member] and I, as parvcipants in the producvon of the DVD, were invited along to Peter Mac s Department of Cancer Experiences Research for the movie preview of this to their relevant medical staff. Lyall and I also sat on the QuesVon Panel aqerwards that was chaired by Professor David Ball, and answered relevant quesvons regarding our roles. Copies of the DVD will be available very soon from the Cancer Council. I am looking forward to our June Support Group MeeVng when Dr Malcolm Feigen, Senior RadiaVon Oncologist at the AusVn Hospital will be joining us to discuss the methods and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne results of his higher than normal radiavon treatment programs for treavng mesothelioma. Bereaved Support Group Mee=ngs are held on the 2 nd Wednesday of each month at the South Melbourne Community Centre, Cnr Park Street & Ferrars Place, South Melbourne from p.m. un=l 3.00 p.m. and the Support Group for people living with an ARD and their carers/families is held on the 3 rd Wednesday of each month at the same venue from a.m. un=l p.m. Shirley Bare, Support Group Coordinator

5 Call Update Like in any organizavon which fields calls from the public many enquiries seem oddly similar although it is each individual caller that makes the enquiry completely different. Most callers put themselves into one of two categories paranoiac or naively blasé and we ayempt, by the end of the conversavon, to make them all calmly aware and sensibly vigilant. Most of the Vme we achieve this goal although some callers do need more reassurance than others. One person at the end of last year called us eight Vmes over two days with the exact same query and then it transpired that the Bernie Banton FoundaVon had also been FAQs contacted seven Vmes by the same person with the exact same quesvon! We suspect that other not- for- profit organisavons across the country may have also been contacted by this person. Sadly, we svll get calls from people who are, in our opinion, criminally naïve in regards to asbestos and whose enquiries confirm that a fourth wave of sufferers is not only likely, but largely inevitable. Recently we were contacted by a couple who allowed their teenage son to destroy the shed in their back yard only to discover later that is was predominantly built with asbestos products. The image of their son covered in dust is surely something that will haunt them forever. On the whole, the most frequently asked quesvons are the following (with answers included where applicable):- How do I test a product for asbestos? Is it Asbestos? page on the Asbestoswise site How do I get the asbestos in my house removed and how can I trust a removalist to do the job properly? How to Remove Asbestos? page on the site (Victorian Trades Hall Council list of removalists) What can I do about a neighbor who is removing asbestos and is creavng a health risk Call your local council I am about to do renovavons in my home. What precauvons do I need to take? Asbestos Removal and Safe Handling page I am living in a rental property and I need the owner to remove/renovate something containing asbestos If dialogue fails between the landlord and/or agency, call Consumer Affairs Victoria The Council referred me to you. Can you tell me? (See next paragraph) Who is responsible for your advervsing, web page, accounts, etc. (Agreed. Nothing remotely asbestos- related but all companies are unfortunately terrorized by cold callers who want to sell you something.) DO NICE GUYS FINISH LAST? At Asbestoswise we are more than happy to field quesvons which the councils are unable to answer. Aqer all, they can t possibly be expected to know how to answer every asbestos- related query. However, referring somebody is one thing and palming them off is something completely different. It is our understanding that some councils in Melbourne have an unofficial policy that as soon as the caller menvons the words asbestos and complaint they are promptly given our number. Many of the callers are from built- up areas who want to complain about their neighbours and the unruly way in which they are removing their asbestos. Some councils will listen others will try therefore a lot depends on YOU. If you call your council with a complaint like the one above, be FIRM and PERSUASIVE. The council officer must transfer you to the chief environmental health officer and they in turn must take the necessary measures (see Neighbourhood Watch arvcle). Remember, the councils are there to serve you and are paid to look aqer you. Donna Jackson s Dust Returns to Victoria There was a great response to the interview with Donna Jackson in the February newsleyer with many people regregng that they had not been aware of her show, Dust, and that it had been shown in Victorian towns. The show features music wriyen and performed by Mark Seymour (Hunters & Collectors) backed by 50 singers and is a peek into Australian homes from the not too distant past, when families were overtly exposed to asbestos through domesvc products like toothpaste, play dough, hair dryers and cigareye filters. The producvon incorporates local stories and experiences with asbestos in each state it is performed, commending the larrikin fighvng spirit that is typically Australian. Dust has recently been shown Adelaide and will then will be taken to Brisbane on November at the Powerhouse Theatre. For those in Victoria who missed Dust the first Vme around, you will be able to catch it when it returns here next year. Tickets cost $18- $25 and are on sale via For more details visit

6 May 2013 VTHC Updates its Site on Removalists Allow us to remind householders that if they are looking for a By signing the agreement the removalist agrees to: removalist to check either the Workplace Victoria site to make sure that the removalist is registered or refer to the list produced by the Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC) on the How to remove asbestos page on the Asbestoswise website. The VTHC has recently updated their Asbestos Removalists page to show which clauses removalists must comply with so that they can be included on the VTHC Recognised Asbestos Removalist list. The list is updated every three months by the council and is really the most trusted list of removalists in Victoria. Have an EBA with the relevant union Ensure all the workers are trained by the union Guarantee all workers are gegng all envtlements Ensure they have adequate insurance Provide us with details of their license Agree to comply with requirements under the OHS Act and regs (including novfying HSR at worksite of the job they re doing) Contact number at VTHC for enquiries: Asbestoswise s Partners VICTORIA Gippsland Asbestos Related Diseases Support Inc. (GARDS) NEW SOUTH WALES Asbestos Diseases Founda0on of Australia Inc. (ADFA) Bernie Banton Founda0on (BBF) SOUTH AUSTRALIA Asbestos Diseases Society of SA Inc. (ADSSA) Asbestos Vic0ms Associa0on (SA) Inc. (AVA- SA) TASMANIA Asbestos Free Tasmania Founda0on Inc. (AFTF) QUEENSLAND Queensland Asbestos Related Disease Support Society Inc. (QARDSS) WESTERN AUSTRALIA Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia Inc. (ADSA) Asbestoswise CommiGee of Management President: David Clement Vice- president: Lawrie O Shea Secretary: Shirley Bare Treasurer: Lawrie O Shea Elisa Scarica Jacqueline Murphy Shelley Mathews Wayne Bruton CEO: Josh Fergeus NewsleGer Published quarterly by Asbestoswise Inc (ABN: ) Flinders Lane, Melbourne Victoria 3000 NewsleGer Published quarterly by Asbestoswise Inc (ABN: ) Flinders Lane, Melbourne Victoria 3000 Website: This newsleyer is provided for informavon only. InformaVon provided in this document is provided as is without warranty of any kind, either express or implied. The user assumes the envre risk as to the accuracy and the use of this newsleyer and the material in it. Material in the newsleyer may be copied and distributed subject to acknowledgement of the source of the material, providing its copying and distribuvon is on a not- for- profit basis.

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