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17 January 2020

 

Maurice Blackburn Principal, Sally Weir says one in three properties built in Australia before 1985 contain asbestos and residents returning to their homes must exercise extreme caution.

“Asbestos was a very common building material – perhaps even more so in holiday and farming communities – and the greatest risk of exposure occurs when asbestos sheeting has been damaged,” Ms Weir said.

“It is when the asbestos fibres become air-borne that it’s at its most dangerous and can cause diseases such as mesothelioma many years later.”

Ms Weir echoed the advice of the NSW and Victorian governments for property owners to use licenced asbestos removalists as they go about clearing up after the fires.

“However, with thousands of properties damaged or destroyed during this catastrophe, the demand for licenced operators in the regional areas could outstrip currently available resources. 

“It’s vital that all levels of government from local councils through to the federal government work with insurers to monitor the availability of removal services in the affected areas to ensure that residents have access to safe and cost-effective decontamination of their properties,” Ms Weir said.

“The websites of WorkSafe Victoria and SafeWork NSW have information on identifying and dealing with asbestos at your home, including a list of licenced removalists.

“Our clients know from bitter experience that there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos fibres,” Ms Weir said.

“The impact of these catastrophic fires will no doubt sadly be felt for many, many years.

“It’s therefore imperative that we do everything to ensure that the people are protected as much as is humanly possible from a preventable deadly legacy in the years to come.”

 

Media inquiries:  

Maurice Blackburn media team on media@mauriceblackburn.com.au

 

Practice Areas:
Asbestos & Silica diseases

 

Maurice Blackburn media team

Our media team advises and supports Maurice Blackburn lawyers and clients during all forms of media engagement, including video and television appearances, radio, online and print media.

Please direct media inquiries to media@mauriceblackburn.com.au, or contact team members directly via the phone numbers below.

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Jade Knight

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Michael Cooney

General Manager Public Affairs

  • Melbourne, VIC
  • (03) 9605 2700
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Chee Chee Leung

Media Manager, Media and communications

  • Melbourne, VIC
  • (03) 9045 6941
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Paddy Murphy

Media Manager, Media and communications

  • Melbourne, VIC
  • (03) 8102 2003
    0490 297 391

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