THE HON BILL SHORTEN MP
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG
THE HON BRENDAN O’CONNOR MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND WORKPLACE RELATIONS
MEMBER FOR GORTON
ABBOTT AXES ASBESTOS SAFETY AGENCY
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s cruel and unfair Budget has plumbed new depths with revelations he will axe an organisation dedicated to preventing asbestos-related diseases.
Tony Abbott’s abolition of Australia’s Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency would have severe ramifications with asbestos still prevalent in many Australian suburbs and homes.
Australia has the highest per capita rate of asbestos disease in the world and almost 34,000 people have died because of the deadly dust since 1980.
Around 700 Australians die each year from asbestos-related diseases, and without proper management experts worry that tens of thousands of Australians could be diagnosed with asbestos related diseases in coming decades.
The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency was established last year with bipartisan support, now Tony Abbott wants to break his promise to prevent asbestos-related disease in this country.
This isn’t about saving money – it’s about saving lives.
That is why Labor established the national Asbestos Safety and Eradication Council and the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency.
Together these bodies have been implementing a coordinated national approach to awareness raising and asbestos eradication in Australia. Dismantling them will see us going back to a patchwork approach.
Other countries have looked up to Australia’s recent approach to asbestos management as best practice.
A national agency provides a national solution to dealing with the deadly effects of asbestos. That’s why it is so important that it remains.
MONDAY, 26 MAY 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 6277 4053
GLEN ATWELL 0428 434 709