More than a third of Australian homes contain asbestos which is most commonly found in fibro building products. It was so widely used that if your house was built or renovated before 1987 it is likely to contain some asbestos -- most likely asbestos cement sheeting.
Asbestos and all products containing asbestos were banned throughout Australia in 2003.
SafeWork NSW provides a free hotline to provide advice and guidance on asbestos-related issues, 1800 Asbestos (1800 272 378).
If left undisturbed asbestos generally does not pose a health risk however with home renovations, particularly DYI, the home renovator needs to be aware of the dangers of asbestos, where it may be found in the home and how best to manage it.
When disturbed during renovations and home maintenance, fibres can be released into the air. If inhaled asbestos poses significant health risks. It can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis.
Who can remove asbestos material?
- Friable Asbestos
The removal of any friable asbestos must only be undertaken by a licensed asbestos removalist.
- Bonded Asbestos
A person may remove less than 10 square metres (10 sq. m) of bonded asbestos however the removal and disposal of the asbestos must be carried out in accordance with SafeWork NSW.
The removal of more than 10 square metres of bonded asbestos material must only be undertaken by a licensed asbestos removalist.
To help assess the risks you can do a 20-point safety check
Disposing of asbestos
Asbestos can NEVER be disposed of in your household bins, skip bins, Council Household Clean-up or by roadsides.
NSW waste facilities that accept household asbestos from the public are listed on the NSW Environment Protection Authority website.
Always phone the landfill you plan to visit in advance to ensure they accept household asbestos waste.
Council is responsible for investigating non-work site related asbestos pollution incidents, such as rubbish dumping.
Report an asbestos dumping issue to us
How to report a suspected find of asbestos containing material?
To report suspected asbestos containing material (ACM) on public land and in community facilities (not private property), please notify Council, providing as much detail on the location as possible, in one of the following ways:
- Online: log a Customer Services Request
- Phone: 9806 5050 An option for an emergency after-hours referral is available from this number.
- Email: email@example.com
SafeWork NSW is the regulatory authority that deals with asbestos incidents involving work sites. Complaints relating to contractor handling asbestos in an unsafe manner can be reported to SafeWork NSW on 13 10 50.
Free asbestos collection
The City of Parramatta Council offers a free collection program for the safe disposal of bonded asbestos from households in the Parramatta Local Government Area.
Under the program, residents can register to have up to 10 square meters of bonded asbestos collected from their property by a licensed contractor free of charge. The material must be loose and not attached to timber, concrete or tiles. For more information or to pre-register for collection events please fill in the form below, or call 9806 5544.
For quantities of more than 10 square metres, please visit the NSW EPA website for details of licensed facilities that accept household asbestos. It is important to note that work involving the removal of more than 10 square metres of bonded asbestos (and any friable asbestos removal work) must be undertaken by a person who holds a license for such work in accordance with clause 485 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011. Contracts for this work must also specify the landfill site to which the asbestos is to be delivered.
Free Asbestos Collection Form
Mr Fluffy loose fill asbestos
There is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that a very small number of homes in the Parramatta area may have had loose fill asbestos installed in their homes during the 1960s and 1970s by a contractor called Mr Fluffy. Visit SafeWork NSW for more information.
Asbestos Management Policy
City of Parramatta Council has developed an Asbestos Management Policy and guideline that details Council commitment to safely managing the risks associated with asbestos materials in our local community.
The policy and guideline are based upon the Model Asbestos Policy for NSW Councils developed by the Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities to promote a consistent Local Government approach to asbestos management across NSW.
The policy and guideline should be read in conjunction with relevant legislation, state government policies and codes of practice relevant to the management of asbestos. The policy and guideline do not constitute legal advice.