Plans to make Australia asbestos-free and reduce the burden of asbestos related diseases will require a Herculean effort from all levels of government and the private sector, according to Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, which represents asbestos victims.
Commenting on the Asbestos Management Review Report delivered to the Minister Bill Shorten, Maurice Blackburn's national asbestos practice group leader Andrew Dimsey said:
"We welcome this report, but it can't be allowed to sit idle or have its recommendations hamstrung by a lack of resources or political will.
"Asbestos management is often put in the too-hard basket - hopefully this report will draw a line in the sand.
"Asbestos will continue to kill thousands of Australians until we address the hazards posed by asbestos in buildings everywhere. Decisive action will be needed if we are to limit and eventually stop workers and home renovators being exposed.
"Awareness and education is a key part of this, together with better management of asbestos removal. This will be a real challenge requiring all levels of government, asbestos awareness organisations and business working together constructively."
Mr Dimsey said that every day at least two people are diagnosed with mesothelioma - the asbestos-related fatal cancer - and many more are living with debilitating asbestos-related diseases.
Derek Weise is a Canberra man with mesothelioma, and on this short video he shares his experience of living with the disease.
Anyone who has been exposed to asbestos should register their exposure so that if they later become ill, they have a record of what has happened to them. It can also help other victims who use the database to help determine where they were exposed.