Asbestos is still being found in materials being imported from China and Indonesia.
Asbestos is still being found in materials being imported from China and Indonesia.

Unions want inquiry into asbestos importation

THE Australian Council of Trade Unions has called for an independent inquiry to investigate how materials containing asbestos continue to enter the country.

The council has called on the federal government to introduce tough new penalties for those caught importing the deadly substance.

It also seeks any potential inquiry to investigate whether border forces are adequately funded to detect asbestos containing materials.

The Queensland Government announced a $400,000 asbestos repair fund on Thursday aimed at carrying out urgent rectification works at hazardous properties across the state.

Industrial Relations Minister Curtis Pitt said timely asbestos removal was an important public health and safety issue.

"Nothing is more important than protecting Queenslanders from the risks posed by asbestos fibres and that is exactly what this new fund aims to do," he said.

Australia banned the importation of asbestos in 2004 but the substance is still found in materials being imported from China and Indonesia.


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