Asbestos Awareness Week 2010

Monday November 22 - Friday November 26

Why Asbestos Awareness Week?

Some people may be asking why is the last week in November Asbestos Awareness Week?

The reason the union movement allocates a week each year as ‘Asbestos Awareness Week’ is because asbestos is such a huge problem still. Australia has an unenviable record of one of the world's highest rate of asbestos related diseases and a legacy of asbestos containing materials (ACMs) in many workplaces and buildings - public and private, commercial, domestic and industrial.

The use of all forms of asbestos in Australia has been banned since 2003, including its import and export. But, because of the legacy of its use, we have not solved the problem of asbestos exposures for either people at work or in the general community.

To illustrate the seriousness of the problem, according to an August 2010 Safe Work Australia report [ Asbestos-related
Disease Indicators] in the 10 years ending 2008, the number of deaths attributed to asbestosis has more than doubled, while deaths from mesothelioma have grown 50%. The number of overall asbestosis deaths is increasing steadily, (109 in 2008 compared to 43 in 1998).

Increasingly unions around Australia are working with the community, asbestos support and advocacy groups and
the Cancer Council to work towards an Asbestos Free Australia.

Activities and events

At the Bella Union Bar, Trades Hall (Cnr Lygon and Victoria St, Carlton South)
  • Monday November 22, 10am for 10.30am: launch of the week’s activities with a media release (Results of Reps’ survey) and event jointly presented by the VTHC and Slater & Gordon Lawyers: Young Workers and Asbestos exposure.
  • Tuesday November 23, 6pm for 6.30pm: Inaugural annual VTHC Asbestos Lecture Australia and the Global Asbestos Industry Jock McCulloch, Professor of History, RMIT, author and International expert.
    Free, all welcome. More information: Renata Musolino 03 9659 3571
Wednesday November 24, 11am
ADSVIC/AISS Commemoration Service. BMW Edge, Federation Square,  followed by CFMEU BBQ on the banks of the Yarra. Free, all welcome; More information: Rod Smith 0418 319 757 (ADSVIC).

Thursday November 25, 4.30 - 6.30pm
Education sector forum - Asbestos and schools: Towards a State Strategy
AEU 112 Trennery Cres, Abbotsford

Friday November 26 - One metro one regional event

ADSVIC/AISS Community event
11am, South Melbourne Community Centre, Corner Park St and Ferrars Place. Raising community awareness, and answering questions. Panel includes medical, legal and support group activists. Free, all welcome. More information:
Wayne Bruton (03) 9654 9555 (AISS) or Rod Smith 0418 319 757 (ADSVIC).

11am, Rose Garden, Morwell Highlighting and raising awareness of asbestos and its effects on families and the community, the event includes an ecumenical service to remember those who are suffering and those who have succumbed to asbestos disease, guest speakers, choir and a free BBQ lunch provided by the Gippsland Trades and Labour Council
More information: Vicki Hamilton 0407274173 or the GARDS office: 5127 7744