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Motion: Asbestos in Foreign Aid Projects

I, and also on behalf of Senator Ayres, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) all forms of asbestos are carcinogenic to humans,

   (ii) according to the World Health Organisation, an estimated 125 million people around the world continue to be exposed to asbestos at work, including in Australia's neighbours in the Asia-Pacific, and the most efficient way to eliminate asbestos-related diseases is to stop the use of all types of asbestos,

   (iii) Australia is a founding member of the Asian Development Bank,

   (iv) the Asian Development Bank's Safeguard Policy prohibits investments that include the 'production of trade in or use of unbonded asbestos fibres', however, this does not apply to the purchase and use of bonded asbestos cement sheeting where the asbestos content is less than 20% – this in effect is an exemption for almost all bonded asbestos-containing materials used in the construction sector, and

   (v) Union Aid Abroad–Australian People for Health, Education and Development Abroad (APHEDA) and their partners in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Indonesia have been at the forefront of work to ban asbestos through the 'Asbestos. Not Here. Not Anywhere' campaign;

(b) congratulates Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA and their local partners for their work in campaigning to ban asbestos in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Indonesia; and

(c) calls on the Federal Government to lobby for a change in policy to end the use of asbestos in Asian Development Bank financed projects.

HANSARD LINK

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