News & Views

6th February 2018

Shining a light on asbestos in homes

The National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) has welcomed the news that the State Government has acquired more than 100 homes in New South Wales and condemned them for demolition as they were found to contain loose-fill asbestos insulation.

NECA has played a key role in advocating to the ACT and NSW Governments that action must be taken to address the dangers posed by loose-fill asbestos insulation which was installed decades ago by the Mr Fluffy company.

“This is not just about protecting existing homeowners, it's also about future buyers and tenants, and about tradespeople such as electrical contractors who often have to work in the roof of a property – an area which is a prime site for asbestos contamination,” said NECA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Suresh Manickam.

NECA also supports the introduction of a vendor disclosure law to warn potential buyers if an older residential property contains asbestos. This recommendation was made to the Federal Government in April 2017 by the NSW Ombudsman in a special report to Parliament Asbestos: How NSW government agencies deal with the problem. NECA was instrumental in the legislating of a vendor disclosure law in the ACT and would like to see NSW follow suit to address this very serious safety issue.

“While current NSW regulations require workplaces and commercial buildings to maintain an asbestos register detailing the location of all asbestos on site, the laws applying to private dwellings aren’t as robust,” said Manickam.

“The introduction of a scheme to certify the presence, or otherwise, of asbestos in existing homes would help reduce the number of people exposed to asbestos, saving lives and reducing public health costs.”

NECA urges any removal or work undertaken in and around asbestos to be conducted by licensed tradespeople who are adequately trained in dealing with this substance. People should always be alert to the dangers present when dealing with asbestos. Critically, if consumers have suspicions or queries they should always engage a licensed and knowledgeable tradesperson.


Enquiries Lynda Proude, NECA National E M 0458 726 355

Notes for editors

1. NECA is the peak industry body representing the interests of electrical and communications contractors Australia-wide.

2. Membership comprises over 5,000 contracting companies with over 50,000 employees.

3. NECA wholly-owns Registered Training Organisations and Group Training Organisations in NSW, VIC & WA, the EcoSmart Electricians initiative, ACRS (a national cabling registrar) and has a joint venture with NESS Super in NSW.

4. NECA employs around 2,000 apprentice electricians, training a further 2,000.

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