The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency is an independent statutory authority. It was established in July 2013 under the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency Act 2013 (the Act). It administers the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Management and Awareness, which aims to prevent exposure to asbestos fibres in order to eliminate asbestos-related disease in Australia. It also manages the National Asbestos Exposure Register.
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Under section 47 of the Act, the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency's role and functions must be reviewed five years after its establishment. In line with this, the former Department of Jobs and Small Business engaged Ms Julia Collins to conduct an independent review of the agency's role and functions.
The requirement for a review recognised that a range of agencies have some role in asbestos management, including Commonwealth and state/territory policy and regulatory agencies. The review considered the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency's role in collaborating with these agencies to ensure a coordinated, national approach that will reduce the risk of asbestos exposure in Australia.
Terms of reference
The terms of reference for the review are as follows:
The review is to be an evidence-based assessment and will examine and report on:
- ASEA's role and functions as specified in section 8 of the Act, and the extent to which they:
- continue to meet the objectives of the Australian Government, and
- will enable ASEA to meet future challenges.
- Given the centrality of the Plan to ASEA's role and functions, the appropriateness of the priority areas of the Plan, as set out in section 5A of the Act, in continuing to achieve the Government's objectives and future challenges.
- Whether any changes to the Act are required to ensure ASEA is enabled to meet the Australian Government's objectives and future challenges.
The report on the review was tabled before Parliament on 27 November 2019.