Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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iT Matters Asbestos

What Is Happening with Asbestos in Schools

In 1998 Colin Barnett as the then Education Minister Barnett acknowledged the problem of Asbestos in schools and a roof replacement was undertaken in schools.

However what has happened since?

There have been a number media questions and reports since 2002 and the situation of asbestos, children and schools remains unresolved.

In 2008 the Standing Committee on Public Administration Inquiry into the Management of Asbestos Containing Materials in Western Australian State Schools made the following recommendations:

  1. The Committee recommends that a comprehensive asbestos survey of all State schools be conducted periodically, and so as to be completed no later than three years after the completion of the previous asbestos survey.
  2. The Committee recommends that the Department of Education and Training keeps a record of all asbestos containing materials (ACM) removed from State schools including details of the ACM removed, the location of the ACM removed, why it was removed and other relevant details.
  3. The Committee recommends that the Department of Education and Training keeps a record of all air monitoring conducted at State schools including details of when, where and why the air monitoring was conducted, the result of the air monitoring and other relevant details.
  4. The Committee recommends that the Department of Education and Training’s Asbestos Management Plan be publicly available and posted on the internet.
  5. The Committee recommends that the Department of Education and Training provides the relevant Ministers with a report to be tabled in Parliament in December every two years. Such a report should cover activities in the previous two years.

The report in 5. should detail:

  • whether a survey of asbestos containing materials (ACM) in all State schools was conducted. If so, provide a summary of the survey findings including the number of ACM identified, the number of ACM given each risk ranking during the survey, remedial action taken on ACM as a result of survey rankings and ACM risk rankings after remedial action was taken;
  • ACM removed from State schools. What ACM were removed, the location of the ACM, why ACM were removed and other relevant details;
  • air monitoring for asbestos fibres conducted at State schools. When, where and why air monitoring was conducted, what was the result of the air monitoring and other relevant details;
  • complaints received by the Department of Education and Training regarding the management of ACM in any State school;
  • training undertaken by State school principals with respect to ACM management;
  • training undertaken by contractors and other persons dealing with ACM in State schools;
  • any reasonably significant changes to the Department of Education and Training’s Asbestos Management Plan (relevant to ACM management at State schools); and
  • any other reasonably significant changes to ACM management policies, procedures and practices.

This committee was Chaired by Liberal Barry House.

Now simply the question to be asked is where is the tabled report, and if it has not been done as recommended why not?

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