West Australia – A parliamentary report released on June 18 stated that schools in West Australia are contaminated by over 21,000 asbestos-containing materials. This has sparked debates on whether a comprehensive database of asbestos is being observed.
An Upper House committee’s investigation found that 769 schools still had asbestos-containing materials in their walls, fences, sunshades, and vinyl flooring.
The State School Teachers Union has called for the removal of all asbestos-containing materials to be removed from schools in colleges. However, President Robert Fry of the West Australia Council of State School Organisations said such a task is not possible economically for any government. He said the best way to handle it is to be extra careful when working on old buildings.
The Upper House committee is recommending that the information from the report be recorded on a register and that from now on, the Department of Education and Training should keep a record of all air monitoring.
The DET said that it has dealt with 60 cases of overhanging tree branches rubbing against asbestos since last year. All other asbestos incidents that were reported were considered “low risk”.
The agency said it is currently reviewing the implications of the committee’s recommendations. Asbestos is known to cause mesothelioma.