Asbestos - Community Information
Council's Roles and Responsibilities
Council may require a Development Application in respect to building renovations and/or the demolition of structures. Where a Development Application is required and these structures contain asbestos material, Council may place general conditions on any Development Application advising the applicant of provisions contained in relevant Australian Standards, Work Health and Safety Regulations and Guidelines produced by the WorkCover Authority of NSW in relation to handling or working with asbestos.
Council may also be contacted where material containing asbestos has been dumped or otherwise abandoned in a public place. In such circumstances where the persons responsible cannot be identified, Council in conjunction with the NSW Fire Brigade may arrange for the material to be collected once it has been rendered safe to handle and disposed of at Council’s waste disposal facility.
Generally where waste material containing asbestos is dumped or otherwise contained on private property, the material remains the responsibility of the property owner. Where a complaint is made to Council in respect to waste asbestos material on private property, Council regulatory officers may investigate the complaint and, where considered necessary, the property owner may be required to remove and safely dispose of the waste material.
Richmond Valley Council currently also offers an Household Asbestos Disposal Kit only available for householders with under 10 square metres of asbestos. The purchase price of the kit includes free disposal of double-wrapped asbestos at the Nammoona landfill.
The landfill requires 24 hours notice to prepare for receiving asbestos. Notice can be given by calling 6662-6580 on the day before disposal is required.
For further information from Council, contact (02) 6660 0300.
Licensing Requirements for Asbestos Removal
A Bonded Asbestos Licence is required to remove, repair or disturb more than 10 square metres of bonded asbestos material such as fibro, corrugated cement sheeting and asbestos cement pipes.
A Friable Asbestos Licence is required to remove, repair or disturb any amount of friable asbestos, such as sprayed limpet, asbestos cloth, millboard and pipe lagging.
Licences are issued under the NSW Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (WHS Regulation).
The WorkCover Authority of NSW issues both bonded asbestos and friable asbestos licences. Licence application forms along with other information in respect to the demolition, health effects, legislation and working with asbestos are available on the WorkCover Authority of NSW website.
Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities (HACA)
The Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities (HACA) group will improve the management, monitoring and response to asbestos issues in NSW by developing coordinated prevention programs.
These programs include a State wide plan for asbestos, a model asbestos policy for local councils and a comprehensive public awareness campaign to promote the safe handling of asbestos and help prevent the risk of exposure to asbestos related diseases in the NSW community.
Call 13 10 50 for more information on the Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities, or visit the Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities website.
Local Government Fact Sheet on Asbestos
HACA has developed a Local government fact sheet which details:
- where asbestos may be found in a typical home
- who to contact
- safe management, removal and disposal of asbestos
Download the Fact Sheet from the list at the end of this page for further information or call 13 10 50 for more information about asbestos resources for local councils, or visit the Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities website.
Regulatory Measures to Ensure Compliance
Sites where demolition work and/or development works or other works are being carried out by either employees or by a self employed person or persons are places of work under the provisions of the NSW Work Health and Safety Act 2011. In situations where Council becomes aware of non compliance on work sites where asbestos material is being handled, Council’s regulatory officers may visit the work site and where necessary advise the WorkCover Authority of NSW who are the appropriate authority in respect to regulating work practices on work sites.
NSW Government Workcover Authority of NSW
The following topics represent resources and information for the safe management and monitoring of asbestos and is available for home and property owners, tenants, renovators, builders, businesses, industry and workers. They can be accessed from the Workcover Authority of NSW website.
Home residents and renovators
- Removing asbestos cement DVD
- Think asbestos website
- Fibro and asbestos - a practical guide
- DIY Safely - dust and fume hazard
- DIY safe
- Asbestos Fact Sheet
- Safely disposing of asbestos waste in your home
- Asbestos and lead
- Fibro and asbestos for renovators and homeowners: Guide
Working with Asbestos
- Working with asbestos
- Working with asbestos in the motor vehicle repair industry
- Choosing an asbestos consultant
- Management of asbestos in recycled construction and demolition waste
- Vacuum Cleaners for asbestos and hazardous dust collection
- Asbestos in soils and aggregate
- Asbestos and fire damaged buildings
- Safe disposal of asbestos
- Crackdown on illegal dumping
- Illegal dumping prevention and clean up
- Asbestos and health risks
- Enhealth Publications - Management of Asbestos in the Non-occupational Environment
NSW Environment Protection Authority
Safely disposing of asbestos waste
Education Campaign Material from NSW Government, the ACTU and James Hardie
Asbestos awareness for home renovators
Effects of Asbestos Upon Your Health
Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of mesothelioma, a rare cancer that develops in the lungs. It is almost solely caused by exposure to asbestos, which was used in everything in children’s toys, house-hold insulation, and naval carriers. For information ranging from a complete list of symptoms, to treatment options, and steps to take after a diagnosis, visit PleuralMesothelioma.com