TRUMP THIS: MOVE TO REQUIRE ALL BUILDING PRODUCTS FROM USA & CHINA TO BE TESTED FOR ASBESTOS BEFORE HITTING OUR SHORES

30 January 2017
  • Recent scandals involving the use of asbestos in building products show need for urgent reform of border protection rules

Senator Nick Xenophon will be moving for an urgent overhaul of rules relating to building and other high risk products coming into Australia from countries that do not yet have a zero tolerance to asbestos. Under the legislative proposal, all building products from countries that don’t have a zero tolerance policy including USA, China, Indonesia and India, must be certified to Australian standards (NATA) as being 100% asbestos free.

A Senate Economics Committee inquiry into nonconforming building products is being held in Brisbane today at the Royal on the Park Hotel, a much-needed inquiry in the wake of numerous reports of building products containing asbestos being imported into Australia. Senator Xenophon has long followed this issue and considers this a critical time for Australian building. In 2005, his Private Members Bill in the SA Parliament was passed that radically overhauled compensation for asbestos victims.

"Any country without a zero tolerance to asbestos in their products should be banned from importing into Australia, unless every one of their products is tested prior to arrival on Australian shores. If those products fail the NATA test - based on Australian standards - they cannot be allowed to hit our shores," said Nick.

"I am sure the new US administration will understand the need to keep our nation safe from dangerous products. Approximately 600 Australians die from mesothelioma alone every year."

It is noted that President Trump stated in his 2009 book, ‘The Art of Comeback’, that “I believe that the movement against asbestos was led by the mob, because it was often mob-related companies that would do the asbestos removal. Great pressure was put on politicians, and as usual, the politicians relented.”A full list of the witnesses appearing at the inquiry can be found here: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Economics/Nonconforming45th/Public_Hearings.

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