Our Homes, Our Mob, Our Safety

Local Aboriginal Land Councils Train in Asbestos Removal

“Our Homes, Our Mob, Our Safety”

That’s the theme of a new asbestos project in New South Wales, which includes working with Local Aboriginal Land Councils in their communities.

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The plan by the Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities aims to build capacity and capabilities in Aboriginal communities through training LALC staff, Aboriginal Green Teams and Aboriginal housing organisations.

Two Local Aboriginal Land Councils have already participated in pilot training workshops on how to remove non-friable asbestos.

 

Gandangara LALC got the ball rolling in Liverpool in October, followed by a large November workshop at Dubbo LALC.

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Image courtesy of SafeWork NSW

The training at Dubbo LALC was attended by 10 participants from Orange LALC, and three from the Mid Lachlan Aboriginal Housing Corporation.

The asbestos pilot training could be a first step towards official licensing for interested LALCs.

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Image courtesy of SafeWork NSW

CEO of Orange LALC, Annette Steele, says that the pilot training provides opportunities for community members to gain new skills, knowledge and safety awareness.

“We want to be proactive, not reactive. This training also helps Orange LALC with one of our strategic goals to support our people with identifying areas of employment opportunities and economic development”.

Ms Steele says a number of her LALC staff and members want to continue their education and training in safe removal, and supervision of safe removal.

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Image courtesy of SafeWork NSW

The issue of asbestos in buildings built or renovated before 1987 is huge.

Many Aboriginal communities contain fibro houses and buildings. Aboriginal land is also susceptible to illegal dumping of asbestos and other rubbish.

SafeWork NSW says Local Aboriginal Land Councils could be eligible to apply for and obtain a non-friable asbestos removal licence, once they have the required training and experience.

You can find more information on the Asbestos in Aboriginal Communities project here:                                                                             http://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/health-and-safety/safety-topics-a-z/asbestos/asbestos-plan-for-nsw/_nocache

The project artwork is by Dunghutti artist Garry Purchase and you can read more about him here: https://artfuly.com/artists/dreamonaboriginalarts

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