News & Views

3rd May 2017

Shine a light on asbestos in homes

03 May 2017

The National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) supports calls for vendor disclosure law reform to assist potential buyers of older residential property containing asbestos.

Reforms to vendor disclosure laws have recently been recommended by the NSW Ombudsman’s special report to Parliament: Asbestos: How NSW government agencies deal with the problem.

“In NSW, current regulations require workplaces to maintain an asbestos register detailing the location of all asbestos on site however, there is no such requirement for private dwellings,” said NECA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Suresh Manickam.

<“The introduction of a scheme to certify the presence or otherwise of asbestos in older homes constructed prior to 1987 will address this very serious safety issue,” said Mr Manickam.

“Whilst this recommendation assists to protect potential purchasers, tenants and real estate agents, it also helps electrical contractors, who are often called upon to undertake work inside roofs where asbestos contamination can be found,” said Mr Manickam.

“The Mr Fluffy Loose-fill asbestos contamination experience that affected more than 30,000 people across homes in NSW and the ACT from the late 1960s has demonstrated that merely removing loose-fill asbestos from a ceiling cavity does not remove the ongoing hazard.”

“NECA was instrumental in advocating for greater public disclosure of homes contaminated with loose-fill asbestos in the ACT and on behalf of our members, the wider electrical sector and for public safety across NSW, we call on the Government to adopt the recommendations set out by the Ombudsman. Such legislation has the potential to reduce exposure to asbestos in residential settings, saving lives and public health costs,” said Mr Manickam.

“This could also be implemented in tandem with two NECA policies: mandatory Home Electrical Safety Audits and voluntary Home Energy Audits, providing households and consumers with additional information in relation to property safety and energy efficiency.”

 

-ENDS-

 

Media enquiries and interviews

Barry Jackson – National Marketing and Communications

E barry.jackson@neca.asn.au

D 02 9962 6904

M 0457 767 328

 

Notes for editors

  1. NECA is the peak industry body representing the interests of electrical and communications contractors Australia-wide.
  2. NECA is run by electrical contractors, for electrical contractors.
  3. We have 5,000 contracting companies as members – and they in turn employ over 50,000 people Australia-wide.
  4. NECA employs almost 350 people across its seven chapters (Queensland, New South Wales, ACT, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia).
  5. The chapters provide NECA members with a range of services including: Industrial Relations, Health & Safety, Legal, Technical, Training, business-support services, product discounts and advocacy representation in Canberra with Government, Industry bodies and Training bodies.
  6. NECA wholly-owns its RTOs and GTOs in NSW, VIC & WA, the EcoSmart Electricians initiative and ACRS – one of the national cabling registrars, and has a joint venture with a superannuation company in NSW (NESS Super).
  7. NECA also employ around 2,000 apprentice electricians and provides training to a further 2,000.
  8. For further information go to www.neca.asn.au.

 

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