The CFMEU has warned federal, state and territory governments all must take action to stop engineered stone killing more tradies.
The CFMEU’s Stop This Killer Stone campaign calls for a ban on the import, manufacture and use of the deadly product, which causes diseases like silicosis.
The federal government has the power to ban its import and pass model work health and safety laws that guide other jurisdictions.
States and territories have the power to ban engineered stone through changes to work health and safety laws.
CFMEU National Secretary Zach Smith said all governments had crucial roles to play.
“I’d hate to see any federal, state or territory government abrogate responsibility on engineered stone,” he said.
“It’s simply not true to say the power to ban engineered stone solely rests with the states.
“Banning killer stone from entering the country is 100 per cent a federal responsibility.
“Border Force’s list of prohibited goods has asbestos on it, so why doesn’t the federal government put engineered stone on it too?
“We need federal leadership here. That would ensure any wavering state ministers are not allowed to commit a deadly moral failure when it comes to banning the use of engineered stone through their work health and safety laws.
“Yes, the states and territories have powers on banning the use of engineered stone, but if the federal government acts we won’t see any more of this awful stuff arriving on our shores.
“Federal, state and territory governments must stop using engineered stone in the building works they fund.
“Every day we wait is another we will see death sentences handed out to Australian workers.
“It’s completely ridiculous to suggest an import ban would somehow fuel a homegrown industry.
“Like asbestos, engineered stone should be banned from entering the country and being manufactured here. You don’t have to pick one or the other.
“This is incredibly simple – you either want to stop workers dying or you don’t.
“If you really believe in banning engineered stone, why wouldn’t you support pulling every lever governments have?”
“The way to stop engineered stone is by banning its import, manufacture and use, which is exactly what the CFMEU has said from day one of our campaign.
“Walking away from an import ban and simply saying ‘this is on the states’ is tantamount to a betrayal of workers.”