National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management 2019-2023 (NSP 2019-2023)
Western Australian State and Local government agencies are required to identify and assess the risks associated with asbestos-containing materials within government-controlled buildings, land and infrastructure as part of the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management 2019-2023 (NSP 2019-2023). When reporting to DEMIRS please use the NSP 2019-2023 Reporting Template not the versions on the Asbestos and Silica Safety and Eradication Agency website.
Australia has one of the highest rates of asbestos-related diseases in the world, with approximately 4,000 deaths each year from exposure to asbestos – more than double the number of annual Australian road deaths. Many public and commercial buildings, homes and infrastructure contain large amounts of ageing asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).
In November 2019, the Australian Government Asbestos and Silica Safety and Eradication Agency (ASSEA) released the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management (NSP) 2019–2023. The NSP utilises a phased approach to eliminate asbestos-related diseases in Australia, by preventing exposure to asbestos fibres. The NSP aims to ensure that there is a nationally consistent and coordinated approach to asbestos awareness, management and removal.
The NSP 2019-2023 includes nine targets, which build on the previous NSP’s (NSP 2014–2018) progress in relation to asbestos policies and actions at all levels of government. The NSP 2019-2023 recognises that governments and regulatory agencies, along with businesses, unions, individual organisations, advocacy groups, researchers and members of the community, all need to work together to support coordinated and more effective asbestos management.
NSP 2019-2023 in Western Australia
On 9 November 2020, the Western Australian State Government endorsed targets one to seven of the NSP 2019-2023 (targets eight and nine are the responsibility of the Federal government), to identify and safely remove asbestos from publicly-owned buildings, if required.
As a result, since the 2021-22 financial year, Western Australian State and Local Government departments, agencies, authorities and government enterprises (government organisations) are required to:
- identify and assess the risk of ACM in the buildings and facilities that they own or occupy;
- develop and maintain risk based management plans for management of asbestos, including schedules and processes for the prioritised safe removal and disposal of the asbestos where required or feasible opportunities exist (NOTE: The management of low to medium risk ACMs in-situ is permitted and removal is not mandated. Where practicable, ACM removal should be planned during opportunities for remedial works, such as refurbishment or upgrade works. Reporting to ASSEA therefore focuses on the removal of high-risk asbestos.);
- provide six-monthly NSP 2019-2023 progress reports to the Department of Energy, Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DEMIRS), which DEMIRS collates and submits; and
- include information in their annual reports on NSP 2019-2023 targets.
Progress reports to DEMIRS are provided using the Western Australian template - NSP for Asbestos Awareness and Management.
ASSEA advises that the NSP 2019-2023 does not impose strict deadlines for the removal of asbestos containing material by 2023. The year 2023 only indicates the end of the second stage of a phased approach to managing Australia’s asbestos legacy.
Across Agency Asbestos Group (AAAG)
As the cross-agency asbestos coordination group in Western Australia, AAAG is strategically positioned to consider the activities of all government agencies with asbestos-related responsibilities.
Consultation in relation to the strategy for Western Australia’s implementation of the NSP 2019-2023 occurs through the AAAG, which meets regularly throughout the year. AAAG is involved in developing and monitoring planned activities to ensure a coordinated and systematic approach to asbestos management.
AAAG membership comprises representatives from the following organisations:
WorkSafe Western Australia Commissioner (Chair)
Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA)
Department of Communities
Department of Education
Department of Finance
Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES)
Department of Health
Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC)
Department of Energy, Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS)
Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH)
Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER)
Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA)
- Frequently asked questions - National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management 2019-2023 (NSP 2019-2023)
- Western Australian reporting template
- ASEA NSP video - National strategic plan for asbestos awareness and management - animation on Vimeo
- ASSEA NSP - National Strategic Plan 2019 - 2023 | Asbestos and Silica Safety and Eradication Agency