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Asbestos removers back incentives to act

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Asbestos remediation companies favour a government incentive to encourage short-term methods of dealing with the material before it is removed, according to a report.

“As Australia grapples with the legacy of in-situ asbestos in our built environment, we need many solutions,” Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency CEO Peter Tighe said.

“A lot of asbestos has been removed from Australian buildings, but there’s a long way to go.”

The report, which reviews asbestos stabilisation and containment practices, says high costs limit demand for complete removal of asbestos, while support is not given for short-term alternatives such as encapsulation.

“There is a feeling among the industry that there is a need for incentive or government support to encourage the use of stabilisation practices as an interim measure,” it says.

Asbestos roofing remains a particular problem, both in commercial and residential buildings.

“In an ideal world, we would have all the resources we need to remove asbestos completely from all buildings,” Mr Tighe said.

“But in the short term, methods such as encapsulation are vastly preferable to doing nothing.”