Vic WorkSafe proposes a cut in asbestos checks

Asbestos removal.

Worksafe Victoria has released a draft of new regulations, which, if adopted, will mean that buildings constructed after 2003 will no longer have to undergo mandatory asbestos checks.

The controversial changes come just after a string of health scares on Australian building sites, where potentially deadly asbestos fibres have been discovered in materials imported from China.

Developers in Victoria have been pressing the agency to introduce the December 2003 — the year asbestos was outlawed from import and use — cut-off date, saying the existing asbestos-testing requirements are unnecessary and burdensome.

But Asbestos Disease Foundation of Australia president Barry Robson said WorkSafe's attempt to abolish the blanket requirement for all buildings to be asbestos-audited would be "bordering on industrial manslaughter".

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