Queensland’s engineered stone campaign culminates in national ban

Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing The Honourable Grace Grace
  • National ban on engineered stone announced
  • The move follows Queensland’s longstanding campaign to ban the dangerous product
  • Queensland has led the way forging a national consensus to address the issue
  • Working with engineered stone can cause serious health conditions, including silicosis

Queensland’s longstanding campaign to ban the use of engineered stone has culminated in a national ban on the dangerous product.

Commonwealth, State and Territory leaders agreed to the national ban at today’s Industrial Relations Ministers Meeting.

The ban will take effect in Queensland, along with the majority of state and territories from 1 July, 2024.

Queensland first put a proposed ban on the national agenda in 2018 in response to escalating health impacts on workers, including silicosis, caused by the use of engineered stone.

The Commonwealth has also flagged it will put in place a complementary customs prohibition on engineered stone to provide an additional layer of enforcement and deterrence at the border.

At today’s meeting, Ministers also agreed to implement a harmonised national labour hire licensing scheme, with the draft intergovernmental agreement and funding to establish the scheme to be further considered by Ministers in mid-2024.

Quotes attributable to Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace:

“Queensland is extremely proud to have led a national campaign which has culminated in a ban on the use of engineered stone.

“This is a dangerous product that’s known to cause the potentially fatal disease silicosis, and it has no place in our workplaces.

“All workers have a right to turn up to a safe and healthy workplace and I’m proud to be part of a government which has helped deliver this key measure to protect workers.

“Major retailers including Bunnings and IKEA have already announced they will phase out sales of engineered stone and I encourage other retailers to follow their example.

“Queensland also led the nation in establishing labour hire licensing and I wholeheartedly welcome a harmonised national about hire licensing scheme.

“I want to thank commonwealth Workplace Relations Minister Tony Bourke and the Albanese Government for working with the States and Territories to deliver these important outcomes.”

Queensland’s action on engineered stone:

  • Audited all known engineered stone benchtop fabricators.
  • Screened over 1,000 workers under Queensland’s WorkCover scheme.
  • Implemented Australia’s first code of practice for the engineered stone industry in 2019.
  • Implemented Australia’s first code of practice for silica in the construction industry on 1 May this year.
  • Established Australia’s first Dust Lung Disease register in July 2019.
  • Allocated $5 million for dust lung research.

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