Frequently asked questions - National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management 2019-2023 (NSP 2019-2023)

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Government sector employers

The department has developed a series of Frequently Asked Questions to assist government organisations to report on the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management 2019-2023 (NSP 2019-2023) targets. 

NSP 2019-2023 and the seven national targets

What is the NSP 2019-2023, and where can I find further information?

The NSP 2019-2023 is an Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA) national plan. It aims to eliminate asbestos-related diseases by preventing exposure to asbestos and ensuring a coordinated approach to asbestos awareness, management and removal. Further information about the NSP 2019-2023 can be found on the ASEA website.

Why is Western Australia participating in the NSP 2019-2023?

The NSP 2019-2023 is consistent with the Government’s policy on occupational safety and health, and recognises the serious health risks posed by exposure to asbestos and the importance of implementing measures to control those risks, so far as is practicable.

On 9 November 2020, the WA Government endorsed the NSP 2019-2023 targets one to seven (targets eight and nine are the responsibility of the Federal Government) to identify and safely remove asbestos containing material (ACM) from publicly-owned buildings, if required.

Who is affected by the NSP 2019-2023?

WA State and Local government departments, agencies, authorities and government enterprises (government organisations) will be required to identify and assess the risks associated with asbestos-containing materials within government-controlled buildings, land and infrastructure.

What are the NSP 2019-2023 targets?

The seven national NSP 2019-2023 targets applicable to WA are:

  1. Increased awareness of the health risks of ACMs and where to source information: all tradespersons whose work brings them into contact with ACMs; all workers in workplaces with ACMs; 80 per cent of homeowners and occupiers, 80 per cent of property managers and real estate agents
  2. All governments have identified and assessed the risks associated with ACMs in publicly-owned and controlled buildings, land and infrastructure
  3. All jurisdictions have schedules and processes for the prioritised safe removal according to risk of ACMs from public buildings and infrastructure, and safe disposal of that material. Government organisations are expected to report against target 3, as far as practicable.
  4. All regulators have in place and have implemented asbestos compliance programs
  5. All commercial buildings which are required by law to maintain asbestos registers, have up-to-date registers and management plans that are actively being implemented
  6. All regulators are investigating, prosecuting and penalising serious known breaches of asbestos-related laws including illegal waste disposal and importation
  7. Easier and cheaper disposal of asbestos waste.

Is my government organisation required to report against all of the NSP 2019-2023 targets?

The WA NSP 2019-2023 reporting template outlines which questions are applicable to certain government organisations.

  • Targets 1 to 3: Applicable to all government organisations. If your government organisation has no ACM within its buildings, land or infrastructure, completion of questions under Targets 1-3 is not necessary.  
  • Target 4:  Only applicable to:

Department of Health
Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS)
Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER)
Local Government Authorities.

  • Target 5: Only applicable to the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS).
  • Target 6:  Only applicable to:

Department of Health
Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS)
Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER)
Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
Local Government Authorities.

  • Target 7: Only applicable to:

Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER)
Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
Department of Finance
Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage
Department of Health (can also respond for Local Government Authorities).

  • Targets 8 and 9: Not applicable to Western Australia. Only applicable to the national Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA).

Who can I contact about the NSP 2019-2023 targets?

If you have a question about the NSP 2019-2023 targets, please contact ASEA.

Questions about the NSP 2019-2023 reporting requirements can be emailed to nspaam@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

Will Government funding be provided to help government organisations meet the NSP 2019-2023 targets?

It is expected that government organisations will use existing budget allocations to meet the NSP 2019-2023 targets. However, if a government organisation can clearly demonstrate that extra funding is required, it can make a submission to the WA Department of Treasury.

Are government organisations expected to identify and remove all (if any) asbestos from its buildings by 2023?

No. The NSP 2019-2023 targets are ‘stretch’ targets and ASEA has not provided specific deadlines.

NSP 2019-2023 reporting requirements

Why does my organisation have to complete the WA NSP 2019-2023 reporting template if it doesn’t own any buildings, or the buildings don’t contain asbestos?

All WA State and Local government departments, agencies, authorities and government enterprises (government organisations) are required to complete the WA NSP 2019-2023 reporting template, even if the answers are ‘N/A’. This will ensure transparency from all WA government organisations in relation to asbestos awareness, management and removal.

Our government organisation’s buildings are managed by the Department of Finance (DoF). Why do we have to fill out the WA NSP 2019-2023 reporting template?

You may wish to contact DoF to discuss this matter further. DMIRS cannot advise of DoF’s preferred NSP 2019-2023 reporting strategy.

How do I submit a report to DMIRS, on behalf of another government organisation?

Please submit separate WA NSP 2019-2023 reporting templates for each government organisation. Do not collate them into one.

What are the due dates to provide the WA NSP 2019-2023 reporting template to DMIRS, and how do I submit it?

Six and 12 monthly submissions should be sent to nspaam@dmirs.wa.gov.au as soon as possible, by no later than the following dates:

Agencies to submit to DMIRS Reporting period
21 January 2022 6 month progress report for the period 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2021
15 July 2022

12 month annual report for the period 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022

(including the 6-month progress report)

20 January 2023 6 month progress report for the period 1 July 2022 to 31 December 2022
14 July 2023

12 month annual report for the period 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023

(including the 6-month progress report)

 

What happens if we miss the submission deadline?

DMIRS officers will be working to very tight deadlines in collating all the WA information to provide to ASEA, so extensions will not be granted.

DMIRS will be sending out reminder emails well in advance of the deadlines, so that government organisations can ensure they meet the submission deadlines.

Where can I download the WA NSP 2019-2023 reporting template?

You can download the template online.

Who can I contact about the NSP 2019-2023 reporting requirements?

If you have a question about the WA NSP 2019-2023 reporting template, please email nspaam@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

All other queries about the NSP 2019-2023 should be referred to ASEA.

Who is the ‘delegated authority’ in my organisation that I need to seek approval from, before submitting the WA NSP 2019-2023 reporting template?

The submission of your government organisation’s WA NSP 2019-2023 reporting template to DMIRS will require ‘delegated authority’ approval. For example, in your organisation, the delegated authority could be the DG, CEO or Executive.

It is very important to ensure the relevant person in your organisation checks the template for accuracy and approves its release, prior to submission to ASEA.

Can I just send DMIRS other asbestos reports by our organisation (e.g. asbestos register) instead of completing the WA NSP 2019-2023 reporting template?

No. The WA NSP 2019-2023 reporting template must be filled in completely. DMIRS will not accept any other form of submission.

Can I include attachments to the WA NSP 2019-2023 reporting template?

No. DMIRS will only accept the WA NSP 2019-2023 reporting template. There is a section at the end of the template, ‘Other asbestos-related activities’, where you can provide supplementary information.

What information will the ASEA final report on the national NSP 2019-2023 targets contain? How will our data be displayed?

You can view ASEAs previous NSP Final Report for 2014-2018 to understand what content might appear in ASEAs NSP Final Report for 2019-2023.

Any questions specific to reporting should be directed to ASEA.

How do we update our nominated contact persons with DMIRS?

To advise DMIRS of new contacts, email nspaam@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

Why are we required to report on the NSP 2019-2023 targets in our annual report and what information do we need to include?

The NSP 2019-2023 is consistent with the Western Australian Government policy on occupational safety and health.

On 9 November 2020, the Western Australian Government endorsed targets one to seven (targets eight and nine are Federal targets) of the NSP 2019-2023 which aims to eliminate asbestos-related diseases in Australia by preventing exposure to asbestos fibres.

Each Western Australian State and local government department, agency, authority and government enterprise is required to report on its progress in achieving the relevant targets of the NSP 2019-2023. Agencies may wish to include an overview of activities relating to:

  • identifying and assessing the risks associated with asbestos containing material from within government owned and controlled buildings, land and infrastructure;
  • developing and maintaining plans for the risk-based management of asbestos containing materials, which includes removal where required; and
  • asbestos compliance and enforcement (such as improvement notice, prohibition notice, prosecution action etc.); and
  • asbestos awareness, including training, publications and guidance materials.

The reporting of progress against the relevant targets of the NSP 2019-2023 is not restricted to the suggested points listed above. Agencies may also report on other aspects of their performance.  

For further information on the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management 2019-2023 targets, visit the  Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency website.

Consultation via the Across Agency Asbestos Group (AAAG)

How are Government bodies consulted on the strategy and reporting for the NSP 2019-2023?

Consultation in relation to the strategy and reporting for Western Australia’s implementation of the NSP 2019-2023 will occur through the Across Agency Asbestos Group (AAAG), which meets regularly throughout the year. AAAG will be involved in developing and monitoring planned activities to ensure a coordinated and systematic approach to asbestos management is taken.

Which organisations are represented on the AAAG?

The Across Agency Asbestos Group will be chaired by the WorkSafe Western Australia Commissioner and comprise representatives from the following organisations:

  • 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 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)

Our organisation is not a member of AAAG. How can we provide comments?

If your organisation is not represented on the AAAG, you may email the AAAG at WHSCommittees@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

Local Government Authorities, please contact WALGA. 

For general information on managing asbestos in the workplace, visit the Department’s Information on asbestos in the workplace webpage. 

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