The use of all forms of asbestos has been banned in Australia since the end of 2003.
This means that the import, manufacture, supply, sale and use or reuse of asbestos and asbestos-containing products is no longer permitted. The ban doesn’t apply to asbestos installed prior to this date (eg in residential or commercial buildings).
Due to its strength, durability and resistance to fire and water, asbestos was used in a wide range of building products and materials up until the mid-1980s. Products that may contain asbestos include vinyl floor tiles, cement roof sheeting and wall lining, lagging and jointing material and fire blankets.
Asbestos removal must be done by a licensed removalist and WorkSafe must be notified of any work taking place.
WorkSafe is one of three agencies in Victoria that provides information on asbestos.
We provide advice and information to help employers and workers understand the risks of asbestos, how to comply with your duties, and resources for managing and removing asbestos in workplaces.
If you are a householder intending to work with or remove asbestos from your home, the Department of Health can assist you.
If you involved in the disposal or transportation of waste asbestos, please contact EPA Victoria.
Your local council may also provide information on domestic renovations or construction work.
Asbestos Audits, Registers & Penalties
The National Asbestos Management Code and State based Workplace Health and Safety Regulations require that Persons in Control of workplaces keep an accurate register of asbestos-containing materials (ACM).
Previous Registers and Audits are now obsolete as the requirement to identify ALL Asbestos Containing materials applies. Previous audits, only required “friable” asbestos to be identified.
There is now no differentiation between asbestos materials and asbestos products, therefore all asbestos is now defined as Asbestos Containing Material (ACM).
All Persons in Control, building owners or managers of buildings, vessels or workplaces are required to identify and register ACM irrespective of whether compliance with the precious asbestos management regulations (e.g. materials only) was adhered to.
For further information, please contact your State Government Obligations office:
- Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
- Victoria (VIC), Worksafe VICTORIA
- South Australia (SA), SAFEWORK SA
- Tasmania (TAS), WORKPLACE STANDARDS
- Western Australia (WA), Department of Commerce
- Northern Territory (NT), NT WORKSAFE
- New South Wales (NSW), WorkCover NSW
- Queensland (QLD)
If Asbestos is identified at the workplace, it is now a MANDATORY that a Register and Management Plan be put in place, further it is a requirement that an Asbestos Re-Audit be completed annually to ensure no further deterioration of the identified ACM.