Senate’s shocking evidence
The Senate Economics References Committee inquiry into the importation of non-conforming building products into Australia came to Brisbane on Monday, 30 January 2017, where it heard evidence that ranged from concerning to shocking.
It included revelations and claims Australia’s border protections were underfunded and ineffective; products from asbestos-producing countries like China, Russia and the USA were regularly entering the Australian market without scrutiny; the need for certificates declaring products were asbestos-free are more are not strictly enforced; overseas organised crime have financial interests in ensure asbestos products remained on the market.
ADSS thanks the senators who make up the inquiry for the service and determination to close loopholes that allow asbestos products to continue to reach Australian building sites. Committee chair Senator Chris Ketter (ALP), Senator Jane Hume (Lib) and Senator Nick Xenophon (Ind) appear genuinely committed to helping with the elimination of these diseases, and ADSS looks forward to a bipartisan report with achievable recommendations later this year.
We will be providing a more detailed report of the Brisbane hearing in our Autumn newsletter, due out in late March. In the meantime, here is how some of Australia’s media reported on the hearing.