MP calls for end of Canadian asbestos exports to sub-continent
November 25, 2011
Page MP Janelle Saffin has moved a Private Members Motion in Federal Parliament to recognise the action of Australian governments in dealing with the impacts of asbestos-related diseases.
“We have first-hand experience of the tragic legacy of asbestos with constituents of Page who worked at the James Hardie mine at Baryulgil,” she said.
“There are also a number of locals afflicted with asbestos-related diseases as the result of old work practices and disposal methods.
“Our Government established the Asbestos Management Review in 2010 to come up with a national awareness strategy and is funding the Australian Mesothelioma Registry to gather information and data on mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
“These actions will help to address the consequences of the unwanted inheritance the use of asbestos has left us.”
A key section of the motion supports Australian diplomatic efforts in trying to get the Canadian Government to recognise the implications of asbestos sales with a view to calling on Canada to cease current production of the material.
“Canada has recently resumed trade in exports of asbestos to the sub-continent, specifically India, which is just unbelievable. They must stop this,” Ms Saffin said.
“Unfortunately, asbestos is preferred as an inexpensive building material in many parts of the sub-continent but the consequence of its use is not widely known to the builders or occupiers of this housing.
“But it is known to those who profit from this product that has resulted in far too many painful deaths with many more to come.
“I am asking my colleagues in the House of Representatives to continue to call on Canada to ratify the necessary international convention to list chrysotile asbestos as a dangerous substance, and consequently cease its production.”
The motion will be discussed by the House of Representatives when Parliament resumes in 2012.