No further positive results in asbestos inspection program

Queensland’s environmental regulator, the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation (DESI), has finalised its proactive asbestos sampling and inspection program, with only two of 36 sites sampled having positive detections in end products.

DESI identified asbestos in products leaving the site at two facilities, and asbestos on site, but not in end product, at four other waste facilities.

DESI and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) have engaged with the operators of these sites to encourage, and in some cases require, improvements in the identification, management and disposal of asbestos.

DESI will continue to educate waste operators on their responsibilities and obligations under legislation regarding the appropriate management and disposal of asbestos.

This will include industry-facing guidance material and further engagement with industry associations to identify and address risk areas.

DESI, as the state’s environmental regulator, will also continue its routine risk-based monitoring of the sites it regulates. Management practices around identification, segregation and disposal of asbestos will be a key focus area for future inspections at waste facilities.

Overall, the fact that only two sites had positive detections demonstrates the majority of waste operators are putting in place appropriate controls to manage any asbestos contamination and Queensland does not have a widespread issue with asbestos in mulch.

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