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New Asbestos Laws   7 replies   4 voices
ClintA Clint A on Jun 28, 2012 1:06pm
Asset Manager  Hills Commercial Real Estate  Baulkham Hills  NSW

What’s everyone’s take on Asbestos laws that have been introduced under the new WHS Act? Not sure if it is only effective in NSW or nation wide.

Here is an article from the REI Journal: http://www.reinsw.com.au/Asbestos-and-the-law-J…

Now from my take on this, every single property under management has to have these two reports kept on file and up to date? Then every person visiting the property must be informed or the agent can be held liable.

Now Katoomba is a pretty old town and I would say that at least 80-90% of the properties we manage contain some sort of asbestos. Would you take that it is the agents responsibility to perpare and pay for these reports? Because I can pretty much guarantee the property owners won’t. Even at the same price as a building inspection, what is the cost of an asbestos inspection? 250 x $600, $150,000. That is if we can find someone to do it. We have even looked for certified people 50km away with no luck.

Am I looking in to this too much?

Is anyone else out there implementing this or done so already?

kyliehogan Kylie Hogan on Jun 28, 2012 2:44pm
Office Manager  Ray White Commercial   Springwood  QLD

Worrying.   I just called one owner and they said they would pull it out of our hands and do it themselves if we did it… frighting

therentalman Ian Morrison on Jun 28, 2012 3:06pm

Looks to me that they are really talking about ‘workplaces’..like where walls, panels etc. may be in the way. We recently did some work on an old fibro house, and found all the sheets stamped as safe and not containing asbestos. As I understand it, Hardie Products changed their processes to not contain Asbestos in 1965..therefore houses built after that time do not have the issue. Obviously though, PMs need to be cautious if fibro sheeting is in need of repair, and tenants need to be aware of the risks of breakages.. but you are right Clint, in a town like Katoomba they would need to remove half of the houses to eliminate the problem.

My final advice is to seek firm Legal advice of you are concerned, and pass that advice on to your clients.

For mine, a little common sense needs to prevail..



kyliehogan Kylie Hogan on Jun 28, 2012 3:29pm
Office Manager  Ray White Commercial   Springwood  QLD

How do I comply with the new legislation? 

  1. Obtain an Asbestos Report for each property that you manage.
  2. Obtain a WHS Report for each property that you manage.
  3. Ensure that your contractors are aware of their WHS obligations.
  4. Ongoing Risk Management including reviewing and monitoring.

This come straight from the REIN website.


therentalman Ian Morrison on Jun 28, 2012 4:30pm

Kylie, it’s more of worrisome legislation I know, but common sense must apply. Seek solid legal advice and advise your clients. Observe item 3 of your list. Ensure any broken fibro is quickly and thoroughly investigated, and repaired as to item 3. Ensure all tenants are aware if in a fibro house to tell you if any breakages occur..be vigilant about this.

take a BEX and have a good lie down.. it is a difficult thing when we as as PMs are supposed to guard against every fault caused long before we were ever in the workforce. Take the legislation in all it’s totality and risk management best practice would say that we vacate all fibro housing and refuse management.. is this realistic..? For that, you really should ask your principal..;))

peterw Peter Weiss on Jun 29, 2012 5:00pm
Principal  L J Hooker Coorparoo  Brisbane  Queensland

For interest, this is from the James Hardie website.

“James Hardie group companies first started manufacturing products containing asbestos in the 1920s. Brake products were produced from 1930.
In 1937, James Hardie and Coy was incorporated as a subsidiary and from that point on was responsible for the production of asbestos cement building products. Other companies within the group had leading positions in a wide range of industries. Over time, these included tires, security, PVC pipes, fire protection and electrical contracting.
In the following years, the use of asbestos was very widespread. In Australia, it was used in thousands of products, by hundreds of companies, and by significant government entities. 
Information about the dangers posed by the different forms of asbestos grew gradually and, as the connection between asbestos and disease became established, most companies, including James Hardie, first controlled exposure, then stopped using it. James Hardie ceased using blue asbestos in 1968 and then phased out the use of all other forms of asbestos, so that our insulation was asbestos free by 1974; our building products by 1983; and pipes by 1986. Our brakes business was asbestos-free by 1986 and sold in 1987.”

Sadly, we do not know the timing of other organisations who were also users.

Hope that is of assistance.

therentalman Ian Morrison on Jun 30, 2012 9:14am

Thanks Peter. I guess this means that perhaps I should amend my thinking if they had eliminated asbestos in ‘building products’ by 1983..!!

Was good to see though that sheeting at that job recently, all stamped as “ASBESTOS FREE”. The house would be one of the older and cheapest (in the day) we manage at this time in Caboolture..not a lot of fibro around here actually, more the Timber exterior and masonite interior style for the older places..


kyliehogan Kylie Hogan on Jul 13, 2012 9:17am
Office Manager  Ray White Commercial   Springwood  QLD

I have done a bit more research on this topic.  I contacted Work cover and spoke to someone there as to what we have to do.  She told me that this DOES include rental properties.

We need to ask all our landlords if they know if there is asbestos in the property.  If they say no.   Then that is fine, no action nessesary.  If they say YES, then the property needs to be put on a register, and an action/manageement plan in place.  Further information can be found on the work cover website.


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